Entries in LGBT (7)


Target Won't Sell Frank Ocean Album: Retailer's LGBT Stance Questioned

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Mega retailer Target's actions have again raised questions about the company's position on gay rights now that it has decided not to sell the highly-anticipated new record by R&B singer Frank Ocean, who recently made headlines by announcing that his first love was another man.

Target, the second-largest discount retailer in the United States, said that the company's decision not to stock Ocean's critically-acclaimed new record Channel Orange, due to hit stores July 17, was made because the singer's label Def Jam opted to release the album exclusively on iTunes a week before it would be available in retail outlets.

Ocean's manager Christian Clancy took to his Twitter account to hint that the retailer's decision had less to do with the iTunes exclusive, and more to do with Ocean's admission of his attraction to a person of the same sex.

"Target has refused to carry Frank's album because of iTunes exclusive," Clancy tweeted, according to Billboard. "Interesting since they also donate to non-equal rights organizations."

Soon after Clancy made the comment, Target responded that the allegations are "absolutely false" and that the retailer's decisions are "based on a number of factors, including guest demand."

"Target has a longstanding tradition of supporting music and artistry that reflects the diverse landscape of American culture. Our history of partnering with diverse artists includes recent partnerships with a variety of musicians, such as Ricky Martin, B.o.B., and Gloria Estefan," Target said in a statement.

Clancy has since removed the comment from his Twitter account, and later wrote: "I apologize for my comments about Target. They are not carrying Frank's album because it went digital first. Not for ANY other reason. … My response was simply an emotional knee jerk reaction. … Stop. Breath. Do the best you can. Be honest. Keep it moving."

Target, however, does currently stock another album that was first exclusively released on iTunes before it was sold in stores -- 2011's platinum-selling Watch the Throne, by rappers Jay-Z and Kanye West. That album, which incidentally was released by Ocean's label Def Jam, is currently available at Target locations.

This is not the first time Target has come under fire from the LGBT community. Last year, Lady Gaga, a vocal supporter of gay rights, dissolved her partnership with the retailer after an outcry from the LGBT community over the Minneapolis-based company's financial support of political action group Minnesota Forward, which supported failed 2010 gubernatorial candidacy of Tom Emmer, an opponent of same-sex marriages.

The initial deal would have made Target the sole retailer of the exclusive expanded edition of Lady Gaga's Born This Way. That album went on to sell over two million copies in the U.S. and was one of 2011's top-selling records.

Billboard reports that Channel Orange is set to debut at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 next week with sales of 100,000 to 120,000 copies. It is currently the number one album being sold on iTunes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Gay Marvel Superhero Plans to Tie the Knot

Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg News(NEW YORK) -- Marvel Comics made a splash in 1992 when one of its beloved charters declared “I am gay.”

Twenty years later -- in Astonishing X-Men, issue 50 set to hit stores on Wednesday -- Northstar will propose to longtime boyfriend Kyle. The two are set to marry in June.

Marvel and rival DC Entertainment have focused on bringing a more realistic flavor to its characters. DC recently announced that it would relaunch one of its major characters as gay in June. Marvel introduced Miles Morales, the first half-black, half-Hispanic Spider-Man last year.

Marvel made the announcement Tuesday morning on The View on ABC, but it has been the subject of fan speculation for some time.

Axel Alonso, the editor-in-chief of Marvel Entertainment, said the story line was developed around the time New York state legalized gay marriage in June 2011.

“The Marvel Universe has always reflected the world outside your window, so we strive to make sure our characters, relationships and stories are grounded in reality,” Alonso said.

In the issue, Northstar makes his intentions known to Kyle in New York’s Bryant Park, a very public place for these very private people.

“Well, private enough for a mutant celebrity -- having such a public, life-changing discussion,” said Marjorie Liu, who wrote the issue.

The scene shows Northstar out of costume and down on one knee with a ring in hand discussing some of what they’ve gone through as a superhero couple.

The cover of next month’s Astonishing X-Men issue 51 includes an all-star cast for Northstar’s and Kyle’s ceremony.

“Yes, there will be some fun guests at the wedding, but not everyone will accept the invitation,” Liu said.

“DC and Marvel are recognizing that there is an LGBT audience that has been reading their comics for years,” said Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment and media for GLAAD.

DC’s most prominent gay characters include Batwoman, who has her own series; Apollo and Midnighter, who appear in Stormwatch; and Bunker, a member of Teen Titans.

Aside from its being socially relevant -- the addition of gay characters makes good business sense.

Archie Comics introduced a gay character in 2010, which turned out to be a hit for the company. There was even a gay wedding in Riverdale in 2011.

“They are recognizing how the world is evolving,” said Kane.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Comics Cliffhanger as Unnamed DC Superhero to Come Out of Closet

PRNewsFoto/DC Entertainment(NEW YORK) -- For the first time, a major comic book character won’t be ambiguously gay anymore.

DC Comics, whose portfolio includes such iconic characters as Batman and Robin, Superman and Wonder Woman, plans next month to reintroduce one of its major superheroes as openly gay.

“One of the major iconic DC characters will reveal that he is gay in a storyline in June,” Courtney Simmons, DC Entertainment’s senior vice president of publicity, confirmed to ABC News.

So which one is it? The folks at DC Comics aren’t saying, but they do say it’s the latest effort to make sure their comics keep up with the times.

Last September, DC Comics relaunched its entire line of comic books to feature an updated look and a new lineup of LGBT superheroes: including Voodoo, an African American bisexual woman and Batwoman, an open lesbian.

Batwoman garnered DC comics an Outstanding Comic Book award from GLAAD, an advocacy and watchdog organization for LGBT issues.

“DC and (arch-rival) Marvel are recognizing that there is an LGBT audience that has been reading their comics for years,” said Matt Kane, associate director of entertainment and media for GLAAD. “When creating these fictional worlds it’s important to show the full diversity.”

Aside from making good business sense, Kane said younger readers are perfectly comfortable with gay characters and expect to see their peers represented.

Although DC Comics’ plans to reintroduce a major character as gay is new, gay characters in comic books are not.

Marvel Comic’s Northstar was revealed to be in a gay relationship back in 2009.  Archie Comics introduced a gay character in 2010, and there was a gay wedding in Riverdale in 2011.

Rumors are swirling that Northstar too is expected to tie the knot to his boyfriend Kyle.

“They are recognizing how the world is evolving,” said Kane.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Adam Carolla Draws Ire of GLAAD with LGBT Rant

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Adam Carolla has caught the attention of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation for making what the organization describes as ignorant comments on his podcast last week.

While discussing an online petition that lobbies for Sesame Street's Bert and Ernie to marry, Carolla said members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community should abandon the acronym "LGBT" and instead refer to themselves as "YUCK."

He also said, "When did we start giving a s*** about these people?"

GLAAD said in a statement, "Given his history of anti-gay and racist comments, networks and advertisers should know what their money is supporting if they choose to hire Adam Carolla.  The gross intolerance that he tries to pass off as comedy should not have a place on our airwaves."

Carolla offered an apology through, saying, "I'm sorry my comments were hurtful.  I'm a comedian, not a politician."

GLAAD responded to his apology by saying, "Networks and advertisers should remember that attacking people who are different from him, and following it with empty apologies, is just a regular part of Carolla's routine."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Stephen Colbert Breaks Character, Tells LGBT Teens 'It Gets Better'

Mike Coppola/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Stephen Colbert is the latest celebrity to tell lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth “It Gets Better.”

In a rare public move, Colbert breaks character in this video, and tells viewers he was frequently bullied as a teenager.

“I was called queer a lot,” Colbert said. Queer, he adds, was a common “weapon” used by bullies when he was younger. “This was the most hurtful thing, I think, that the bullies could think of calling you.”

The It Gets Better Project launched last September and in addition to a host of showbiz personalities, President Obama, a group of Democratic senators, Secretary of State Hilary Rodham Clinton and the Chicago Cubs have all uploaded videos. The project aims to prevent suicide among bullied lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.

Colbert's message does come just in time for the official repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and the first weekend same-sex marriages are legal in New York. His video was uploaded to the project’s web site Wednesday.

The comedian tells viewers about a friend who simultaneously reclaimed the word queer, and disempowered his bully.

“If you can, realize that the things people say about you don’t really matter,” said Colbert.

“It gets better,” Colbert adds. “And people get nicer, too.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Target 'Surprised and Disappointed' by Gaga's Decision to Break Partnership

FilmMagic/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Target says it's surprised that Lady Gaga has backed out of an agreement to release a special edition of her new album, Born This Way, through the retailer. Gaga reportedly nixed the deal because she disagreed with corporate donations Target had made to what she saw as anti-gay politicians, and Target's alleged refusal to promise not to make future donations to groups and candidates who oppose LGBT issues.

In a statement obtained by E! Online, Target said, "We were very surprised and disappointed by the statements made by Lady Gaga's organization related to her partnership with Target." It added, "Target remains committed to the LGBT community as demonstrated by our contributions to various LGBT organizations, our recently established Policy Committee to review our political giving and our respectful, inclusive workplace environment."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐


Lady Gaga Pulls Out of Target Deal over LGBT Issues

Kevin Winter/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Lady Gaga's plans to offer a special edition of her upcoming album exclusively through Target have apparently been canceled.

As previously reported, Gaga had some issues with the company's stance toward gays, and sources tell The Advocate that it was ultimately enough to sour the deal.

Last year, gay activists were angered when it came to light that Target had donated corporate funds to a political action committee that supported an anti-gay candidate, Tom Emmer, in a failed bid for the governorship of Minnesota.

The source tells The Advocate, "[Gaga] and Target didn't see eye-to-eye on Target's policy of political donations and how they affect the LGBT community."

Gaga told Billboard last month that part of her agreement with Target was that they "have to start affiliating themselves with LGBT charity groups and begin to reform and make amends for the mistakes they've made in the past."  However, E! is reporting that Target refused to promise that it would never again support an anti-gay politician or group.´╗┐

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio