Erroneous comments from Hughley and Shepherd start at about 1:00
On June 22, The View had some of their first male co-hosts with both comic D.L. Hughley and openly gay MSNBC newscaster Thomas Roberts. I remember this episode well because Elisabeth and Joy had a somewhat rare bitchfight. Joy made the comment that prayer was dangerous when it took the place of logical thinking which of course set off Elisabeth’s hair trigger “I’m being attacked for something” alert. Joy wasn’t putting religion down and was making another point that of course went over Elisabeth’s head. Elisabeth called Joy’s remark “bigoted,” and Joy defended herself before eventually backing down when faced with Hasselbeck’s yelling. That girl gets pissed off about just about everything she doesn’t agree with or finds personally offensive. (To watch this fight, scroll to about 4:20 in this video for the context. The fight starts at around 6:30.)
That particular day on The View is getting press now for some comments that Hughley and Sherri Shepherd made about black men on the “down low” hiding their homosexuality from their female partners. It all started with a discussion on whether it was fair for the Red Cross to refuse blood from gay donors. They mentioned an article Slate ran on the controversy pointing out that HIV was more common among black people than white people and musing whether that kind of racial profiling in blood donation would also be acceptable. Hughley then referred to Slate’s coverage and made the erroneous claim that “when you look at the prevalence of HIV in the African American community it’s primarily young women who are getting it from men who are on the down low.” (That’s at 1:00 into the video above.) A whole conversation on the topic ensued, with Sherri agreeing with Hughley that this was spreading HIV in the African American community and that it was particularly hard to come out as gay when you’re black. Roberts countered that it was hard to come out in the white community too.
The only problem is that they were commenting on a myth. Data doesn’t support the notion that secretly gay black men are spreading HIV faster than other ethnicities. It’s just not true, and it’s not fair to target one community due to anecdotal evidence. GLAAD has called The View out on this and took out a full page ad in Variety requesting a retraction and apology.
GLAAD isn’t too happy with Barbara Walters and her roundtable.
The gay media watchdog group has taken out a full page ad in Hollywood trade magazine Variety blasting The View.
Why? Keep reading to find out…
During the June 22 episode of the daytime talk show, cohost Sherri Shepherd and guest host, comedian D.L. Hughley, blamed increased HIV rates among straight African American women on black men who are secretly gay, AKA “on the down low.”
“When you look at the prevalence of HIV in the African American community, it’s primarily young women who are getting it from men who are on the down low,” Hughley said.
Shepherd added, “It’s so big in the black community with women because they’re having sex with men who have been having sex with men.”
The Variety ad, cosigned by the Black AIDS Institute and the National Black Justice Coalition, reads in party, “The Centers for Disease Control has publicly disproven this myth. And since June 22, thousands of people have written to ABC, asking that The View provide correct information to viewers. Unfortunately, those requests have been greeted with silence from both ABC and The View.”
Shortly after the episode aired, GLAAD encouraged its supporters to contact ABC and show execs and demand an on-air apology and correction.
Walters, Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg have all been honored by the gay rights group with GLAAD Media Awards.
[From E! Online]
I really don’t know much about D.L. Hughley but I remember seeing this episode of the View and wondering how they chose him as moderator. He’s supposed to be a comic but he’s not particularly funny and I didn’t agree with most of what he said. It shouldn’t matter what this guy thinks, though. If they’re going to discuss something on the View a team of producers should make sure the topic is at least accurate. Maybe with Barbara Walters gone and so many people on vacation they dropped the ball. I’m sure they’ll say something about it today now that this ad has been published.