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E! tells GLAAD it will issue on-air apology for offensive remark

Tonight's episode of the E! show Daily 10 will feature an on-air apology for anti-gay comments made last week. We thank E! for treating this matter with professionalism and seriousness, for dealing with the incident appropriately, and for making clear to its viewers that homophobic comments are not welcome on its airwaves.

During Friday's show, Los Angeles radio personality Mike Catherwood, who was guest-hosting, made a joke about Adam Lambert going to prison. He said “From what I know about jail, Mr. Lambert probably wouldn’t have too bad a time.”

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Saturday morning, Lambert got wind of Catherwood’s offensive attempt at humor.

He then expounded, on the website “TwitLonger.”

Catherwood apologized on his own Twitter page that afternoon.

It was a nice sentiment, but Catherwood knew full well that offense was taken. GLAAD received hundreds of incident reports from supporters, and hundreds more tweets mentioned this story to us. More importantly, this wasn’t a Twitter feud. This was the host of an entertainment show insinuating on the air that Adam Lambert would enjoy being in jail, because he is gay. A Twitter apology was nowhere near good enough.

It turns out, this is hardly an isolated incident for Mr. Catherwood. A reader of the blog AfterElton found this example of Catherwood – as “Psycho Mike” from Los Angeles radio station KROQ – being blatantly homophobic.

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Another commenter took this screenshot from Catherwood’s MySpace page (which has now been taken down.)

Catherwood discussed the incident on his radio show on Monday, claiming that he meant that Adam Lambert “probably wouldn’t have too bad a time” – NOT because he would be raped, but because he’s gay, and he’s be going to an environment where it’s, in Catherwood's words, “all men.”

Why might he enjoy such an environment?

Because, according to his KROQ co-host Bean, “Adam Lambert would enjoy being in an enclosed space with lots of men the same way you would enjoy being broken down on a bus with the Laker Cheerleaders, just because there’s a lot of opportunities to have sex with people.”

Of course. Because jail is generally accepted as a hotbed of purely consensual sexual encounters.

No, what happened was that Catherwood’s instincts told him “gay + jail = joke.”

I’m sure that during the few seconds that he was physically telling his joke on the air, he wasn’t consciously thinking “I am now telling a prison rape joke, because people think prison rape is funny,” but that doesn’t mean the joke isn’t rooted in the same homophobia.

We thank E! for their cooperation - GLAAD is also reaching out to Mr. Catherwood - who seems like his heart could possibly be in the right place - even if his mouth wasn't.

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