GLAAD issued a Call to Action on Thursday against ABC's daytime talk show "The View" after host Sherri Shepherd and guest host D.L. Hughley made inaccurate and dangerous comments about African American gay & bisexual men. Take action now.
While discussing the FDA’s ban that prevents gay and bisexual men from donating blood, Shepherd and Hughley communicated misinformation about the causes of increased HIV rates among African American women and used the phrase “down low” to describe men who have sex with men but publicly identify as heterosexual.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), however, has debunked the dangerous myth that Shepherd and Hughley cited on the program. Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the Centers for Disease Control’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention talked about his research in NNPA News in October 2009. He said that the CDC “has looked to see what proportion of [HIV] infections is coming from male partners who are bisexual and found there are actually relatively few,” and goes on to attribute most infections to other factors.
GLAAD reached out to ABC’s “The View” today and asked the show to educate its audience with the facts. Unfortunately the network refused to take responsibility or correct the faulty information.
“Sherri Shepherd and D.L. Hughley’s claim that African American gay and bisexual men are ‘primarily’ responsible for increased HIV rates among African American women is inaccurate and dangerous,” said GLAAD’s Senior Director of Programs Rashad Robinson. “Medical experts, including the Centers for Disease Control have dispelled that myth and ABC has a responsibility to its viewers to correct the information. Shepherd and Hughley’s comments fuel a climate of homophobia and racism."