A national gay-rights group is calling for CNN to fire a commentator over Tweets the gay group felt were homophobic.
And once again, some public figure (or, in the case of this CNN commentator, a semi-public figure) is getting in hot water over off-the-cuff messages he tweeted out to his Twitter followers.
The combatants in this dust-up: In one corner, CNN contributor Roland S. Martin, a commentator you might recognize as a regular political panelist in the roundtable discussions CNN convenes on Election Nights such as the recent Republican primaries, for example. In the other corner, GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation), which was anything but glad about Tweets Martin composed in reaction to, of all things, that David Beckham underwear commercial that aired during the Super Bowl.
Like many others, Martin was evidently carrying on a Twitter-based “conversation” with followers during the Super Bowl telecast. According to this story on Entertainment Weekly’s Web site, in reaction to the Beckham spot, Martin Tweeted: “Ain’t no real bruhs going to H&M to buy some damn David Beckham underwear! #superbowl,” and, “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl,” and, “I bet soccer fan @piersmorgan will be in line at H&M in the morning to get his hands on David Bechman’s [sic] underwear line! LOL #superbowl.”
Hilarious, witty, clever? Well, not really. Anti-gay? Well, apparently, that all depends on your point-of-view. GLAAD’s opinion was that Martin was referring to gay men when he advocated smacking “the ish” out of anyone at your Super Bowl party who liked the ad.
True to form, the Twitter-verse was quick to respond, with many detecting an anti-gay bias in Martin’s reactions to the Beckham ad. Martin then responded with a run of Tweets defending his comments and reacting to various Twitterers (is that a word?) who went after him. You can read the whole string on Martin’s Twitter account here (and then you, too, can compose your own Tweets about the situation).
In the EW story, a GLAAD spokesman says the group is sticking with a petition it’s circulating in an attempt to get Martin fired from CNN. The spokesman insists that Martin’s Tweets “promoted violence against gay people.”
There was no word on how CNN is reacting to this situation, though we doubt Martin will be fired or otherwise reprimanded for what he Tweeted.