TV Sponsor Drops Dr. Laura as 'Controversial'
CORRECTION: Corrects spelling of company name.
(CNSNews.com) - A week after homosexual activist groups targeted Procter & Gamble for its sponsorship of Dr. Laura Schlessinger's planned TV talk show, the consumer products giant withdrew its backing for the show, saying Schlessinger has become too controversial.
"There has been controversy surrounding Dr. Laura on a number of topics," P&G said in a statement. "We've chosen not to be involved with a show that will require time and resources to deal with this kind of controversy."
"The focus of the show is intended to be responsible parenting," P&G continued. "As we've studied it more closely, we've decided it isn't possible to separate the broad range of Dr. Laura's opinions from the specific focus of this program."
A P&G spokeswoman, Gretchen Briscoe, told CNSNews.com that the company made its decision based on Schlessinger's stands on "a lot of different topics."
"It goes well beyond her opinions on one subject, but her opinions and the level of controversy she sparks on a lot of different subjects," she said.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation targeted P&G after the company announced its decision to purchase advertising time on Schlessinger's fall TV show.
GLAAD and other groups have attacked Schlessinger for criticizing the gay lifestyle and speaking favorably of reparative therapy for homosexuals who want to change.
"If Procter & Gamble has bought this show, then it's bought trouble, too," GLAAD announced last week, urging its members to contact the company and "express their displeasure with this decision."
Family advocacy groups condemned P&G's decision as caving to pressure by a small but well organized platform of homosexual activists and their allies.
"Procter & Gamble shouldn't be afraid of moral-based programming," Peter LaBarbera, president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, told CNSNews.com.
"Obviously Dr. Laura has a huge audience because she's popular and people love the message. The only ones who are protesting are the homosexual activists. They're trying to dictate to the country and I wish Procter & Gamble would see that they only represent a tiny portion of the country, and probably only a tiny portion of homosexuals. A lot of gays want the show to go on and if it succeeds, let it succeed."
"If they're going to cancel this, they need to cancel anything that promotes the homosexual message, because that's controversial too," LaBarbera added.
The move by Procter & Gamble comes less than a week after the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council condemned Schlessinger's on-air comments about homosexuality as "abusively discriminatory."
Schlessinger has denied she is anti-homosexual; on the contrary, she was among the first national radio talk show hosts to speak with homosexuals on-air and advocate acceptance of homosexuals, she said.
In an open letter published Monday by The Globe and Mail, Canada's national daily, Schlessinger said: "I was one of the first talk-show hosts on U.S. radio to take calls from gays, calls that usually involved family opposition. I consistently counseled homosexuals to be honest with their families and the families to accept and love them."
Her doctorate degree in physiology from Columbia University entitled her "to state the obvious: Homosexuality is a deviation from the biological norm of heterosexuality," she said.
In a syndicated column published Tuesday, Schlessinger blasted what she called the McCarthy-like tactics of the homosexual activist movement.
"The well-funded and well-connected homosexual activist movement has become the McCarthyism of the 21st century. Opposition to any of its goals is tantamount to being a 'fellow traveler,' which is what people were called in the 1950's, who were merely accused (often erroneously) of being communist sympathizers," Schlessinger said.
"The topic is not open to debate. Accusers become judge and jury, and the mainstream news media are only too happy to carry out the sentence," she said.
Len Munsil, president of the Center for Arizona Policy, told CNSNews.com that attacks on Schlessinger suggest "it is becoming socially unacceptable to speak moral truth about the institution of marriage and about certain forms of sexual behavior."
"She's been consistently civil, polite, principled, and kind in what she's saying. On no occasion has she urged any sort of acts of intolerance against people who practice homosexual behavior, but in Hollywood and the media, the cultural agenda is to promote homosexuality as perfectly normal as often as possible," he said.
Munsil, an attorney who drafted Arizona's laws that passed in 1996, banning homosexual marriage, hosted Schlessinger and 1,100 of her supporters at a fundraiser in Scottsdale Monday night.