Logo Straightens Up

Has anyone tripped over Lisa Sherman’s piece in the Huffington Post<

Has anyone tripped over Lisa Sherman’s piece in the Huffington Post? Sherman is the Executive VP and general Manager of Logo channel. Logo I remind you is owned by MTV networks (Viacom) and Logo in turn owns afterellen, afterelton and the recently shuttered 365Gay the former news site. Yesterday Sherman posted a piece about how Logo network is (and I’m paraphrasing) going to cater to a cross over audience, to become a straight friendly “gay” channel.

Sherman writes: “What we’ve found is that we are increasingly more interested in entertainment that is for us than entertainment that is exclusively about us.” Meaning? Entertainment about straight folks is entertainment for gay folks? Get it!?

Apparently after some market research Logo discovered that LGBTs don’t find their identity the defining feature of their lives any loger: “Logo’s recent research with Starcom Mediavest Group found that less than a third of us want to socialize exclusively with LGBT people, and a majority are proudly out but don’t necessarily see being LGBT as something that is always front and center in our lives.”

Who is it that Starcom Meidavest Group polled I wonder? And why is the conclusion that we want assimilationist TV? Ironic then that their most successful original show is its queerest, Ru Paul’s Drag Race. Additionally Logo always struck me has having a white-moneyed-gay-male bias with lesbian programming always ancillary. Anyone else feel that way?

Sherman goes on to argue that “Gay remains in [Logo’s] DNA as the fight goes on to enact marriage equality in more states, to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and to ensure equality for the people living in the 29 states where it’s still legal to fire someone just because they’re LGBT. But as our gay sensibility becomes embraced more and more by straight Americans, we will welcome them into the fold, too.”

The scuttlebutt I had been hearing from people who worked in and around Logo for the last couple years was that the channel wanted to move towards a more Bravo like programming. A “gay-friendly” rather than a “gay-centric” kind of TV. Although no one I spoke to said exactly why, my own experience in queer media tells me that there wasn’t a big enough audience to sustain advertisers on Logo. And in the end it is always about money isn’t it?

As “gay” media continues to evolve, the more blatantly apparent it is that we are not a singular demographic block. “Gay” is not a lifestyle or a culture. LGBTQI is a diverse community of communities, sub-cultures within sub-cultures. We don’t act, think, or speak in unison. The hurdles of finding content to appeal to our diverse demographic takes more than than a few corporate designed focus groups. But why bother, lets suck up to straight people instead, its more lucrative.