Tuesday, April 18, 2006

About Logo

What is Logo?
Logo is the newest channel from MTV Networks, the force behind channels like VH1, MTV, TV Land and SpikeTV. Logo is entertainment programming for lesbians and gays and just about anyone who enjoys a gay point of view. Logo is for us, our friends and our family. Logo is originals. Logo is movies. Logo is documentaries. Logo is news. Logo is specials. Logo is the channel for Gay America. Finally. (logoonline.com)
Reality check: Logo is a company belonging to a media conglomerate that cares more about profit margins and bottom lines that it does about building a national community forum for the so-called “Gay America.” Logo cares about the “gay point of view” that makes a profit than the gay point of view that makes a compelling point about what living the life of a Gay American is really all about.
Why did you choose the name "Logo"?
We chose to name the channel "Logo" because as the first and only 24/7 channel for the LGBT community, we wanted a name that people could make their own and give it personal meaning. For us, the word "Logo" is about identity, about being comfortable in your own skin. It's about being who you are. (logoonline.com)
Reality check: Logo was chosen because big media conglomerates believe that sponsors would never advertise on a mainstream channel with the words “queer” or “gay” in the name. Because queer and gay are not "mainstream."

Why the reality check?

When Logo launched last year, there were high hopes in Gay America that we would finally have a place among the hundreds of television channels that we could finally call our own. There was the false hope that Gay America would own Logo and Logo would be a place where this America could finally address the world with its messages of equality and social acceptance for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

What did we get? We got whatever sponsors and a mainstream media company (Viacom) would allow us to get. Gay America does not own Logo. Logo owns the wallets of Gay America.

The reality of what Logo is became all too clear recently, when the company refused to air an ad from the United Church of Christ. The company felt the ad was too political for the network. In Gay America, the ad was not some controversial political piece. It represented a reality of religious persecution of gays that Gay America knows all too well. Logo refused the ad because its parent company said it had to, not because Gay America thinks it is too political. Gay America does not own Logo.

And that is fine.

While Logo was sold to us as a community forum, much like our community’s newspapers are, it is now clear that Logo is nothing more than a subsidiary with a balance sheet and a cash flow to maintain. This makes sense too. Even companies that do good works do it only because it generally improves the bottom line.

Gay America just needed to realize this reality. Logo is not our home, but it is simply a place where we can go and be entertained. Companies are not in the business of radical social change. It is not the moral responsibility of a company to lead a movement, and Gay America should never sell-out to a company for this very reason. Logo included.

It’s just bright lights and noise.

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