Fox Cancels Gay-Themed Reality Show Amid Criticism
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fox television said on Thursday it has canceled plans to air a two-hour special titled "Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay," in which two straight men compete for $50,000 by trying to pass themselves off as homosexuals.
A network spokeswoman said the reality show, which had been slated to air June 7, was pulled off the schedule "for creative reasons" after Fox executives previewed the program.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation issued a statement commending Fox for shelving the special, which the civil rights group branded "an exercise in systematic humiliation."
"Fox deserves a lot of credit for doing the right thing here," GLAAD executive director Joan Garry said. "They offered us an advance copy of the show and were incredibly responsive to our grave concerns."
She said Fox also had agreed to meet with GLAAD officials to discuss the special, but the session was called off once the show was dumped.
According to GLAAD media director Stephen Macias, who viewed a copy of the special, the contestants referred to their experience as "their worst nightmare" and complained of being "trapped in gay hell."
One contestant resorted to telling his former wrestling teammate that he liked the sport because he enjoyed "close contact with sweaty boys." He later had to fork-feed dinner to a blind date, get the man to spank him and fool him into securing a second date, Macias said.
GLAAD first questioned the show's premise as potentially offensive after seeing promotional materials stating that the two contestants would immerse themselves in "the gay lifestyle" and later be judged by a "jury of their queers" -- a panel of gay men who would decide who was the most convincing.
Fox later issued a second press release with a disclaimer apologizing for its "ill-chosen" humor in the first.
The one-time special, from the creators of the Fox reality series "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance," will be replaced on the Fox schedule by a telecast of the movie "American Pie 2."