ABC'S MISGUIDED "PARENTAL ADVISORY" FOR ELLEN RETURNS

Nation's only lesbian & gay media watchdog organization denounces waffle as blatant double standard

Rich Ferraro
Director of Communications, GLAAD
(646) 871-8011
ferraro@glaad.org

October 27, 1997
NEW YORK, OCTOBER 27, 1997-The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
(GLAAD) today expressed dismay at ABC's decision to reintroduce the
controversial "parental advisory" warning this coming Wednesday on its hit
show Ellen. The advisory, normally used for explicit violence, sex or
language, was removed from the show two weeks ago after protests from star
Ellen DeGeneres, GLAAD and others who complained that the advisory
represented a double standard in regards to sexual orientation.


Ellen DeGeneres has spoken out about the double standard of giving Ellen
the advisory when many much more explicit heterosexual sexual situations,
graphic violence, and even other same-sex kisses (Spin City, Relativity,
Laverne & Shirley) did not warrant the severe warning. GLAAD spoke with
representatives of both the program and the network, urging a resolution
which was fair to lesbians and gay men, and mobilized national support for
removal of the advisory two weeks ago. This week's episode, and several to
come will feature Ellen Morgan's continuing coming out process and the
introduction of the character's first girlfriend.

"ABC's decision to reintroduce the warning constitutes a double standard
for lesbian and gay content on television that is simply unfair and
un-American," said GLAAD Entertainment Media Director Chastity Bono. "ABC
made history last April when Ellen came out. Now ABC is telling Americans,
especially young people who are struggling with their own sexual
orientation, that there is something explicitly wrong and harmful about
living openly and honestly."


"Ellen DeGeneres has done something rather extraordinary this season by
demonstrating through her comedic gifts the evolution of the coming out
process," said Joan M. Garry, GLAAD Executive Director. "ABC's decision to
waffle on the advisory points to a much larger problem; people's inability
to make a distinction between 'orientation' and 'sex.' ABC needs to rise
above the fray and act responsibly to both its gay and straight viewers.
All Americans deserve better from ABC."


GLAAD will continue to monitor and report on Ellen and its media coverage,
and has reintroduced "Ellen Watch" at GLAAD Online (http://www.glaad.org).
This resource will continually update the community on which companies have
advertised this season on Ellen and will continue to monitor the "parental
warning."


GLAAD is a national organization that promotes fair, accurate and inclusive
representation of individuals and events in the media as a means of
combating homophobia and all forms of discrimination based on sexual
orientation or identity.