Monday, January 31, 2005

My email to Zaven Kouyoumidjian


This is in response to your email reply to Ali regarding gays being interviewed on your show without masks.

I understood your point of view until I read in Ali's newsgroup posting that you allowed prostitutes to wear masks during their interview. Why the double standard? I'm really surprised by that. If you applied the restriction "No one appears on the show in a mask" equally, it would be acceptable. But if you allow one group protection from the consequences of appearing on the show but don't allow another group protection from those same consequences, it diminishes your credibility.

My suspicion is that you don't want to address the topic of homosexuality at all on the show, and "no masks" is simply a delaying tactic. But it definitely is time to include this topic in your list of other ground-breaking topics.

You wrote to Ali "If really he doesn’t have a problem with his sexual identity he must accept to talk without a mask." But the need for a mask isn't really about a person being ashamed of his sexual orientation. It's about avoiding physical attacks and the stigmatizing of his family after he appears on the show. Very big difference.

If you allowed masks for the first couple of shows in which gays were interviewed, or if you took the time to explain to the group ( why you feel it's the right time to appear on the show without a mask, it would be good. But if your response is merely "My answer is still the same," I (and probably everyone in the group) would begin to suspect that you simply don't want to touch this topic, and that the reason for that reluctance is ratings.

>Hi Ali

>Thanks for your mail again
>But my answer is still the same
>I want a real homosexual without a mask
>I cannot stigmate him more through the mask
>If really he doesn’t have a problem with his sexual identity
>He must accept to talk without a mask
>Keep in touch

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