Below is the official statment of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation regarding Noah’s Arc creator Patrik-Ian Polk’s article.
I initially approached them for a comment for an article I am working on regarding this controversy and this is what I was sent. More to come on this later.
Official GLAAD Statement:
Since its inception in 2003, GLAAD’s People of Color Media Program has successfully worked to expand the presence and prominence of diverse voices and stories in the media. We’ve done so through a commitment to community collaboration and partnership.
In the past year, since Katina Parker joined GLAAD as our Media Manager for Communities of African Descent, we have made considerable inroads. Katina has done extensive work with the National Black Justice Coalition, including collaborating with them to secure media coverage for NBJC’s Black Church Summit Against Homophobia in such outlets as the New York Times, the Associated Press, Harlem World, CNN, Just Living Atlanta and Clik magazine.
Another area of focus for GLAAD has been LGBT visibility and inclusion in the black press. This year, Katina and Jonathan Adams, GLAAD’s Communities of African Descent Media Fellow, have conducted meetings with editors at Essence, Vibe.com, AOL Black Voices and the New York Beacon to increase the quantity and quality of inclusive stories. Also, Katina held an editorial board meeting at the LA Wave and has conducted meetings with the Oakland Post and reporters at the San Francisco Chronicle and the Associated Press. Those meetings led to the publication of an April 19 GLAAD media analysis of how the Black press cover LGBT issues — a report that will help shape future outreach and collaboration with Black press outlets.
In addition, GLAAD’s People of Color and Regional Media Teams have media-trained hundreds of Black LGBT and allied activists throughout the country, delivering the necessary tools for them to become effective spokespeople at the local level. And Katina worked with openly gay filmmaker Maurice Jamal to place an op-ed at Vibe.com regarding the cultural impact of Kanye West’s denunciation of homophobia.
As the only national LGBT organization with a People of Color Media Program, the reality is that GLAAD’s commitment to communities of color is seen throughout our media programs. For example, our People of Color Media staff teamed with our National News Director to work with the AP to pitch and provide resources for a feature article on the growing political and cultural influence of the Black gay community in. Also our Regional Media Team, in consultation with the Communities of African Descent Media Team, has actively pitched dozens of stories and op-eds focusing on people of color in outlets across the country.
Finally, it feels important that we clarify some misconceptions that were published last week regarding the GLAAD Media Awards.
Prominently featuring the cast of Noah’s Arc at the Los Angeles Media Awards and on the TV show was a GLAAD priority from the early planning stages of the event. In fact, the Noah’s Arc cast were among the first presenters we approached and booked for the LA show.
When they were not on the red carpet or in Logo’s backstage celebrity lounge, the cast of Noah’s Arc was seated on the ground floor with Logo executives and other talent from the network.
It’s also important to recognize that GLAAD is a non-profit organization that is much smaller in terms of budget than our opponents, such as Focus on the Family. The GLAAD Media Awards telecast is produced and paid for by Logo.
There also seems to be some confusion about the timing of a request we made to honor Patrik-Ian Polk for his achievements in media (including Noah’s Arc and his GLAAD Media Award-nominated film "Punks") at this year’s event in San Francisco. We approached Mr. Polk about accepting this honor on Feb. 2 — at the same time as we were approaching other special honorees for this year’s events. He declined to accept the award on Feb. 7 — two weeks after the Jan. 23 Sundance event that unveiled the nominees in competitive categories. The special honorees were first announced on March 1. Had he agreed to be honored prior to our March 1 announcement, Mr. Polk would have been mentioned as one of this year’s honorees in that media release. We regret that Mr. Polk’s schedule prevented him from accepting this honor this year.