A petition calling on the National Geographic Channel to denounce the Boy Scouts’ ban on gay scouts and leaders has received more than 100,000 signatures. In reaction to a new National Geographic Channel show called “Are you tougher than a Boy Scout,” GLAAD joined Scouts for Equality and 20 year-old gay Eagle Scout Will Oliver to call on National Geographic Channel to denounce the BSA's anti-gay policies. Will's Change.org petition urging National Geographic to air a disclaimer clarifying its views has collected over 100,000 signatures.
An update to the BSA's National Council Strategic Plan 2011-2015, the BSA describes the new show as a “strategic partnership” aiming to push the idea that “Scouting is ‘cool’ with youth.” The Progress Report also states that the BSA will begin working on marketing plans with National Geographic for “leveraging the show with Scouting audiences and audiences outside of scouting.”
Though the petition has reached 100,000 signatures, the National Geographic channel said it "appreciate[s] all points of view on the topic, but when people see our show they will realize it has nothing to do with this debate..."
“It’s all too clear that this show is just a marketing ploy, crafted by the BSA to boost dwindling membership and distract Americans from the Scouts’ long history of discrimination,” says GLAAD President Herndon Graddick. “National Geographic Channel is the means to that end and must therefore make it clear where the network stands.”