CyberAlert -- 11/05/1997 -- Special Entertainment Edition: TV's Liberal Advocacy

Special Entertainment Edition: TV's Liberal Advocacy

  1. ABC's politically correct, feminist-approved tooth fairy.
  2. Ellen moves from just showing gays as no different than anyone else to using her sit-com to push liberal policies.
  3. Ed Asner raises money for Cuba.

1) Political Correctness in the Wonderful World of Disney? On October 5 the 7pm ET Wonderful World of Disney on ABC offered a politically correct, feminized view of the tooth fairy.

In the made-for-TV movie Toothless, Katherine, a dentist, gets into an accident and is sent to limbo, where she must successfully complete a "community service" in order to go to heaven, to wit, she must be the new tooth fairy. Minutes after arriving in Limbo, Katherine is outfitted in the traditional tooth fairy garb, a puffy pink dress with ribbons, lace, and a tiara, and proclaims "Who ever designed this should rot in hell." Rogers, a kind of boot-camp drill sergeant for Limbo informs her "He is." A few moments later, Katherine tells Rogers that being a tooth fairy is just not her thing. Rogers corrects her "Tooth person, we're politically correct in Limbo."

On one of her trips to Earth, Katherine lands in the bedroom of a little girl who has stayed awake to meet her. When she arrives, the little girl asks if she is really the tooth fairy. Katherine replies "No, I'm a figment of your imagination. The personification of every female stereotype ever stuffed down your throat by the sexist, male dominated media. You should read Little Women."

Viewers also got a dose of the kind of political correctness offered in the classroom through programs like "Outcomes Based Education" and Goals 2000. Bobby, a young boy who looks to Katherine for advice is seen sitting in class, where his teacher is lecturing on one occasion about tolerance, love, and acceptance, and on another occasion about composting -- never mind Math, English, Science, or History.

2) In the few episodes of ABC's Ellen (Wednesday night at 9:30pm ET) sit-com that have aired since the "coming out" episode last season, star Ellen DeGeneres has gone beyond pushing tolerance or acceptance of an actively gay main character in a prime time television show. After ABC added a parental warning to the top of a show a few weeks ago in which she kissed co-star Joely Fisher, the October 9 New York Times quoted her as complaining "If you say, 'Don't watch a show that has gay people on it,' who's to say they won't one day say, 'Don't watch a show that has black people on it, or Jews.' I never wanted to be an activist, but they're turning me into one."

But no one is "turning" her into an activist. She already decided to use her show to push liberal gay rights activism. The October 15 episode, for example, opened with Peter and Audrey, two of Ellen's friends, returning from a "Gay charity hoe-down." Audrey presents her with a gift bag from the hoe-down. Inside is a "gay yellow pages." Peter remarks "The gay community yellow pages represent an important step in our empowerment..." When Ellen expresses reluctance to use the "gay yellow pages," Audrey says "This is about getting involved in your community... Oh, come on, Ellen. The man has been keeping our people down long enough. 'Together we stand, divided we fall, queer nation, one and all.'"

At Ellen's house party, a gay activist presents Ellen with a rainbow flag, and tells her "The rainbow is a sign of unity for gays of all sexes, creeds, and colors." She also overhears two gay women in conversation. In an obvious stab at those who objected to her on-screen kiss the week before, one says to the other "Every time I turn on the TV some woman is kissing some man. I have nothing against what they do in their home, but I shouldn't have to watch it." Ellen offers Amy, the activist some tortilla chips. Amy responds "No thank you, I'm boycotting...excuse me girl-cotting. Senior Crunchy's repeatedly denied benefits to same sex partners." Amy later introduces Ellen to the crowd, and says "We hope she will remember as John F. Kennedy would have said had he been gay, 'Ask not what the gay community can do for you, ask what you can do for the gay community.'" Ellen standing in front of the room says "Thank you. And I promise to have a lesbian on the moon this decade. And if Jerry Falwell has anything to do with it, we'll have them all on the moon."

Ellen later confesses to Peter that she's feeling overwhelmed by the pressure to be an activist, Peter responds "I'm sorry, some of my friends can be a little bit rigid, but that's just their way of finding unity in the face of oppression."

3) Ed Asner's Cause Celebre: Aide to Communists. Actor Edward Asner, formerly of the Mary Tyler Moore Show, and currently making guest appearances on such programs as ABC's The Practice, is soliciting money for the "Disarm Education Fund" of the Cuban Medical Project. In a fund-raising letter sent out by the organization, Asner states: "It's illegal to sell medicines to we're sending them free." By donating to Disarm, Asner claims that you are sending a very important message "To the people of Cuba, you send a ray of hope, and demonstrate that many Americans care enough to help despite Washington's blockade, [and] To our government in Washington, you add your voice to the growing chorus that demands peace now..."

-- Brent Baker