ABC Gives Evasive Statement to CNN.com Following GLAAD Criticism of Problematic Segment on The View

By GLAAD |
July 15, 2010

On Monday, July 12, GLAAD, the Black AIDS Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition placed a full page ad in Variety Magazine calling on ABC and its morning program, The View to take responsibility for misinformation espoused on the June 22 edition of the program.

The June 22 broadcast of The View featured hosts Joy Behar, Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd, along with guest hosts D.L. Hughley and Thomas Roberts, (executive producer/co-host Barbara Walters and moderator Whoopi Goldberg were not present on the show that day). During the “Hot Topics” segment, Shepherd and Hughley blamed African American gay and bisexual men for increased HIV rates among straight African American women. But as we noted in the Variety Ad:  "The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has publicly disproven this myth. And since June 22, thousands of people have written to ABC, asking that The View provide correct information to viewers. Unfortunately, those requests have been greeted with silence from both ABC and The View."

You can read more about the issue here.

Since we placed the Variety ad, several media outlets have covered the story including E Online, AOL Black Voices, TV Guide, Salon.com, Gothamist and a host of others.

Late Wednesday, July 14, ABC released an evasive statement to CNN.com, deflecting criticism from GLAAD, the Black AIDS Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition.

From CNN.com's,  The Chart:

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Black AIDS Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition said the two were “blaming African American gay and bisexual men for increased HIV rates among straight African American women.” They published a full page advertisement in Variety magazine this week urging ABC and “The View” to make an on-air correction.  The groups commended “The View” for tackling tough issues, but said it’s important to provide accurate information.

ABC responded with this statement to CNN: “ On June 22, during a discussion about blood donation and the transmission of HIV/AIDS, a guest moderator on the show expressed his interpretation of data about one way the virus can be transmitted.  The topic of HIV/AIDS has been raised many times over the show’s 13 years, with many voices and opinions contributing to a conversation that we expect to continue as long as The View is on the air.”

After weeks of silence on this issue, ABC has finally issued a public statement -- but unfortunately, the network still has not corrected the inaccurate information broadcast into millions of homes. GLAAD continues to call on ABC and The View to publicly correct the misinformation aired on the June 22 show. Because as our ad in Variety concludes:

"When The View talks about these kinds of issues, people listen. And there’s a responsibility that comes with that. We want The View to do what it does at its best: Talk about the tough issues with a commitment to honesty, accuracy and fairness. We ask ABC and The View to keep the conversation going by correcting the record and elevating voices that can provide accurate information about HIV/AIDS for African American gay and bisexual men, African American women, and all viewers."

Please continue to call on ABC and The View to correct the show's June 22 inaccurate claims about African American gay and bisexual men. This program reaches millions of viewers and ABC must ensure that its platforms are not used to perpetuate dangerous falsehoods that put our community in harm's way.

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