Seriously dude, Fox cans its gay TV show after criticism

NEW YORK - In the same week that MTV unveiled details of its new gay cable channel LOGO, Fox has cancelled its television show, 'Seriously Dude, I'm Gay', after criticism from gay rights groups that it was 'systematic humiliation'.

The programme has a similar premise to Channel 4's 'Faking It', but instead of persuading experts that they are proficient in a particular profession, two straight men have to convince a panel that they are gay.

This entailed them living with gay roommates, telling their friends that they were gay, going to gay clubs and going on dates with men, all in the hopes of winning a $50,000 prize.

The programme was to have been hosted by Irish television presenter Amanda Byram, who has appeared in the UK on 'The Big Breakfast'.

Before anyone had even seen the show, Fox had raised hackles with its first press release promoting the show, starting with the line: "It's a heterosexual male's worst nightmare: turning gay overnight" and positioning the show as a satirical look at the current fad for gay programming. However, it quickly retracted the press release.

Gay is all the rage on US networks at the moment, from the hit show 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' -- where hopeless straight men are given a complete lifestyle makeover by a group of experts in various fields -- to the sitcom 'Will & Grace'.

This week also saw the tourist authority in Philadelphia launch a new ad campaign to attract more visitors to the region, with the effort including special niche campaigns targeting gay travellers.

However, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation viewed 'Seriously Dude, I'm Gay' as a gay lifestyle programme too far and raised its concerns with Fox after viewing it.

It welcomed the network's decision to withdraw the show, saying: "Fox deserves a lot of credit for doing the right thing here. They offered us an advance copy of the show and were incredibly responsive to our grave concerns. They worked with us to schedule a meeting and pre-empted that meeting with a decision to shelve the show."

GLAAD executive director Joan Garry and entertainment media director Stephen Macias described the programme as an "exercise in systematic humiliation", with contestants referring to the experience as their "worst nightmare" and complaining that they were "trapped in gay hell".

Particularly upsetting scenes showed a contestant telling his former wrestling teammate that he liked the sport because he enjoyed "close contact with sweaty boys". The same contestant was also shown fork-feeding dinner to a blind date, and then being made to get the man to spank him and fool him into securing a second date.

Fox's sister network in the UK, Sky, was in trouble over a programme called 'There's Something About Miriam', in which six men competed for the affections of a beauty, only to discover at the end of the series that she was actually a transsexual man. Sky ended up paying out £500,000 to contestants to win an agreement to air the show.

In the UK, Fox sister channel Sky One is launching a new gay show of its own called 'How Gay Are You?', which follows the debut of the UK version of 'Queer Eye for the Straight Guy' on LivingTV.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.


Become a member of Campaign from just £88 a quarter

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a member

What is Campaign AI?

Our new premium service offering bespoke monitoring reports for your company.

Find out more

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an alert now

Partner content