TiVo has become the focus of negative attention from several LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) groups due to their participation in a Father’s Day contest. Sounds innocent enough:
This month, as we take time to honor fathers, we have a question for you:
Do you know a SuperDad?
Perhaps he can’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, but at some point, he has demonstrated exactly what a dad should be in your mind.
Maybe he taught you to drive. Maybe he’s bailed you out of a tight spot. Maybe he’s a wonderful father to your children.
Whatever it is, we want to hear your story!
So why the furor? The contest is being run by the notorious anti-gay group Focus on the Family. Focus on the Family head James Dobson is well known for his homophobic stance and outrageous, unsupported statements about homosexuality. While Focus on the Family claims to be a non-partisan group focused on supporting families, their definition of ‘family’ is fairly narrow and excludes any LGBT families.
The story has been spreading around the web for the past couple of days. It looks like Jeremy at the Good As You blog was the first to spot it. And then Joe. My. God. covered the story and contacted TiVo, who replied:
UPDATE: I had another chat with TiVo and they have emailed me the following:
TiVoâ€™s popular KidZone feature has been recognized by many organizations as a great way to protect children from mature programming. Focus on the Family is one such organization that is leveraging the benefits of KidZone for an affiliate promotion of their of own their own design – in this case a Fatherâ€™s Day contest.
On the phone just now, their rep stressed to me that TiVo has supported various LGBT groups in the past and that this promotion is just one of many that highlights their KidZone feature. There is an apparent relationship between TiVo and FOTF, even if the haters designed the contest on their own.
The Family Equality Council Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler sent a letter to TiVo on the issue. (PDF) They’re also calling on people to do a little culture jamming on the contest by nominating LGBT dads as candidates for Super Dad. They’ve also setup a petition relating to the contest to be delivered to TiVo.
Focus on the Family is considered a hate group by many, and, frankly, I personally agree with that stance. No matter what they may pretend, they actively support discrimination and their leader spouts off with complete falsehoods to support his prejudices. TiVo would never dream of partnering with the KKK or any other group that encouraged racial discrimination, but it seems that partnering with a group that encourages discrimination based on sexual orientation is just ducky with TiVo. And that’s really upsetting, and disappointing. Brushing it off as an affiliate run contest doesn’t really excuse it, IMHO, TiVo can choose who they affiliate with, and vice-versa. I do hope TiVo rethinks this affiliation.