China’s Weibo Reverses Decision to Censor LGBT Content

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Mounting online protests have forced Sina Weibo — China’s version of Twitter — to reverse its decision banning all forms of homosexual content from its platform, the company announced on Monday.

Just last Friday, Weibo had said it would spend the next three months purging its platform of unsavory content, lumping in any homosexual posts with pornography and violence. The move sparked a wave of public outcries, with thousands of users sharing pro-gay hashtags and deriding the platform, which has roughly 400 million users, for censoring LGBT voices.

“This time, the cleanup of anime and games won’t target gay content. It is mainly [meant] to clean up content related to pornography, violence and gore,” said Weibo on Monday, according to Whats on Weibo, on its reversal. “Thank you for your discussions and suggestions.”

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The turnaround was a win for LGBTQ-advocates in a country still grappling with its treatment of homosexuals. Homosexuality is not illegal in China, but there remain signs it is culturally frowned upon. “Call Me By Your Name,” a gay romantic film nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards this season, was barred just last month from the Beijing International Film Festival.

“I’ve been casting for a new gay film and many actors are worried about being blacklisted if they get involved,” gay filmmaker Popo Fan told CNN. “Censorship leads to self-censorship — and that’s the worst outcome.”

The Chinese government’s draconian censorship laws often force social media companies to liberally weed out content it believes authorities will find offensive. But on Sunday, the People’s Daily, the government’s mouthpiece news organization, pushed tolerance of homosexuals, in the wake of the blowback over Weibo, but said “vulgar” content wouldn’t be tolerated under any circumstance.

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China’s Weibo Reverses Ban on LGBT Content

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Sina Weibo, China’s leading microblogging platform, has reversed its ban of gay content. The decision announced on Monday is a rare instance where a Chinese institution bows to public pressure. The company’s proposed three-month operation to clean up its site, user groups and user-generated comments will “no longer apply to homosexual content,” Sina said on […]

China Bans Gay Content Online (Report)

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Gay-themed content has been scrubbed from Sina Weibo, one of China’s largest social media platforms. The action was reported by state-owned tabloid newspaper The Global Times, which said that the detoxification program is to last three months. Sina said that it had cleaned up over 56,000 unregulated posts, closed 108 accounts and removed other discussion […]

That Time Sean Hannity Got Fired for Homophobic Comments… and Went to the ACLU for Help (Podcast)

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Fox News host Sean Hannity’s career began the last place you might expect: on the liberal campus of UC Santa Barbara, where he hosted a shock-jock radio show in which he tore into the news media and offered up flatly wrong theories about AIDS.

It was 1989. Hannity was a 27-year-old college dropout from Long Island when he scored a job on KCSB, UCSB’s radio station. But, as the Washington Post reported, he was soon fired for offenses that included egging on a guest “who claimed that AIDS was spreading among gay men because they consumed each other’s feces,” and telling a lesbian mother he felt sorry for her child.

The details — and what he did next — are the subject of our new “Shoot This Now” podcast, in which we talk about stories that should be made into films or TV shows. You can listen on Apple or Spotify or here:

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After enlisting the American Civil Liberties Union in his fight to return to the college airwaves, Hannity went on to a job in Alabama. The Post reports that Hannity’s official station biography said he “made a proud name for himself by insulting lesbians.”

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He would later, of course, go on to criticize the ACLU for what he saw as its liberal bias.

Hannity’s past homophobic comments are notable today because of the host’s recent feud with Jimmy Kimmel, in which Kimmel insinuated that Hannity was sexually submissive to President Trump. Kimmel apologized, saying: “By lampooning Sean Hannity’s deference to the president, I most certainly did not intend to belittle or upset members of the gay community and to those who took offense, I apologize.”

Hannity said in 2013 that his views have changed. “Over the years, I have evolved into more of a libertarian when it comes to people’s personal lives,” he said.

During our discussion of Hannity and the ACLU, “Shoot This Now” co-host Matt Donnelly and I also talk about “The Simpsons” recent handling of Apu, Matt tells a great story about Gwyneth Paltrow, and we tell two random stories about “Happy Endings” star Adam Pally.  If you like the episode, check out our archives, and rate us on iTunes.

Oh, and be sure to check out our still very timely episode from last week about what Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg can learn from Johnson and Johnson’s handling of the 1982 Tylenol murders.

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Billy Baldwin Drags Sean Hannity Over Past Comments Like ‘All Gays Are AIDS Carriers’

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Billy Baldwin ripped Sean Hannity over the weekend, tweeting out an old article that described how the Fox News host was fired from his job as a shock jock at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1989.

“Santa Barbara has fond memories of @seanhannity’s time here in the 80s,” said Baldwin. “He got the boot here as a shock jock cuz he and/ or his guests spewed such morsels of enlightenment as… “All gays are AIDS carriers”, “Gays eat fecal matter” & “Homosexuals are disgusting people” #ClassAct

The tweet has racked up more than 4,500 retweets since being sent Sunday.

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Santa Barbara has fond memories of @seanhannity‘s time here in the 80s.

He got the boot here as a shock jock cuz he and/ or his guests spewed such morsels of enlightenment as… “All gays are AIDS carriers”, “Gays eat fecal matter” & “Homosexuals are disgusting people”#ClassAct pic.twitter.com/OVMuqoEUus

— Billy Baldwin (@BillyBaldwin) April 8, 2018

The incident has been previously reported in numerous Hannity profiles since his show became Fox News’ top-rated program. In an interview with New York Times magazine last November, Hannity called his comments “ignorant and embarrassing,” and that his removal from the radio station had been “deserved.”

Hannity’s removal from the student radio program provoked a response from the ACLU, which took his case and threatened to bring legal action against the school on First Amendment grounds. The school relented and offered Hannity his old gig back, but the host declined to return unless offered a public apology — something which never occurred, the Washington Post reported.

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The unique moment in Hannity history likely received a boost in light of a week-long feud he has engaged in with late night comedian Jimmy Kimmel. The pair traded barbs on social media and their respective television programs after Kimmel joked about Melania Trump’s accent. In recent days Kimmel also took heat from LGBT groups who were displeased with his mocking suggestion that Trump and Hannity were in a gay relationship.

With Hannity promising to run anti-Kimmel content until he received an apology, the ABC host finally conceded.

“While I admit I did have fun with our back and forth, after some thought, I realize that the level of vitriol from all sides (mine and me included) does nothing good for anyone and, in fact, is harmful to our country,” said Kimmel in a tweeted statement Sunday.

Also Read: Kimmel Ends ‘Fun’ Exchange of Jabs With Hannity: ‘I Will Give My Words More Thought’

“By lampooning Sean Hannity’s deference to the President, I most certainly did not intend to belittle or upset members of the gay community and to those who took offense, I apologize,”

re. @seanhannity pic.twitter.com/DMtWJTMsDU

— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) April 8, 2018

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Fox News Column Blasts U.S. Olympic Team: ‘Darker, Gayer, Different’

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FoxNews.com Executive Editor John Moody is none too pleased about the U.S. Olympic Committee’s commitment to diversity in this year’s Winter games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

In a take on FoxNews.com, Moody blasted the USOC, who praised the team’s diversity in this Washington Post story from earlier this week.

“Unless it’s changed overnight, the motto of the Olympics, since 1894, has been ‘Faster, Higher, Stronger.’ It appears the U.S. Olympic Committee would like to change that to ‘Darker, Gayer, Different.’ If your goal is to win medals, that won’t work,” Moody wrote of the team’s drive to increase representations for Asian, African-American and gay athletes.

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The thrust of the take echoes a longtime conservative critique of affirmative action-type programs on the grounds that looking to create diversity inevitably comes at the expense of choosing the most qualified people.

Moody reached back into history, citing Jackie Robinson and Jeremy Lin as example of athletes who triumphed as a result of their own merit and didn’t take handouts in the name of “diversity.”

“If someone is denied a slot on a team because of prejudice, that’s one thing. Complaining that every team isn’t a rainbow of political correctness defeats the purpose of sports, which is competition,” wrote Moody. “At the Olympic level, not everyone is a winner. Not everyone gets a little plastic trophy to take home.”

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Santa Claus Is a Black Gay Man in New Children’s Book ‘Santa’s Husband’

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I ❤️ Gay Santa pic.twitter.com/wLP8SREWJB

— Jon Levine (@LevineJonathan) December 19, 2017

If you thought the Mall of America’s African-American Santa Claus pushed the envelope, perhaps you haven’t met the jolly elf’s life partner.

In the new children’s book “Santa’s Husband,” author Daniel Kibblesmith depicts Kris Kringle as a black, gay man in an interracial relationship with someone named David.

“This is new,” quipped host Victor Blackwell as he welcomed Kibblesmith and illustrator A.P. Quach on the set of CNN’s “New Day” on Sunday.

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Kibblesmith — a writer for “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” — said that as a professional comedy writer, he wanted to poke fun at the oft-discussed “war on Christmas.”

“It was sort of inspired by the annual tradition we have in this country of pretending that there’s a giant war on Christmas, and that traditional Christmas is under attack,” said Kibblesmith.

“We were reading all of the news about Mall of America hiring a black Santa Claus last year and me and my now wife made a joke on Twitter that if we ever had a child they would only know about black Santa Claus and if they saw a white Santa Claus at the mall we would just explain ‘Well, that’s his husband,’” he added.

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The actual book describes how David helps his husband get ready for the big day.

“In the weeks before Christmas, Santa’s husband helps with all the pre-Christmas work, from double-checking lists, to feeding the reindeer (organic gluten-free grains, of course), to negotiating labor disputes with the restive workshop elves,” reads an Amazon synopsis.

“At the height of toy-making season, he even fills in for his busy hubby at the mall to ensure every child can meet the Big Guy in the red suit, and give him their wish list.”

The book is suggested for kids between ages 4 and 8, according to the website.

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