Grammys stunt informs GLAAD cause

LOS ANGELES: Last week's Grammy duet between gay icon Sir Elton John and notorious homophobe Eminem gave the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) an international news platform to promote its message of accountability and responsibility in free speech.

LOS ANGELES: Last week's Grammy duet between gay icon Sir Elton John and notorious homophobe Eminem gave the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) an international news platform to promote its message of accountability and responsibility in free speech.

LOS ANGELES: Last week's Grammy duet between gay icon Sir Elton John and notorious homophobe Eminem gave the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) an international news platform to promote its message of accountability and responsibility in free speech.

'The key message we wanted to get out there was that homophobia and violence against gays still sells because it's still accepted in this country,' said Cathy Renna, news media director for GLAAD.

To keep its message in the media limelight, GLAAD's nine-person in-house PR staff co-sponsored a town hall meeting with the Recording Academy the day before the event to discuss controversial lyrics and artists. More than 75 people attended the meeting at the Los Angeles Public Library.

The afternoon and evening of the Grammys, GLAAD held a protest rally outside the Staples Center, the site of the awards. More than 200 people from 20 gay, lesbian and women's organizations protested. Both events were covered by local, national and international media.

Renna said she thinks GLAAD's message reached the gay and lesbian community, the mainstream audience, the music community, parents and Eminem fans.

'People are talking about this at the dinner table, at school, at the water cooler,' said Renna. 'For us that's the goal because the only way we're going to solve any of these problems in our culture is to talk about them.'

She continued: 'We wanted celebrities walking down the red carpet to hear that the glamorization of violence in Eminem's songs had a real impact on gays and lesbians.'

John and Eminem will team up again at this week's Brit Awards, the UK equivalent of the Grammys.





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