GLAAD Pleads for Support of NBC’s 'The Book of Daniel'

Fri. January 6, 2006 12:00 AM by

Anti-gay Christians target new Friday night drama for gay storyline

Hollywood, CA - NBC's upcoming series The Book of Daniel, a drama about an Episcopal priest and his family, has prompted a protest from anti-gay religious extremists in large part because the show features a gay character as the priest's son. Now, GLAAD is spearheading a campaign to keep the show, which has yet to premiere, on the air, urging people to contact their local NBC affiliates in support of the series.

The Book of Daniel stars Emmy-nominee Aidan Quinn as the Reverend Daniel Webster. Christian Campbell plays his gay son and Oscar-winner Ellen Burstyn stars as Bishop Beatrice Congreve.

After seeing a promotional and marketing campaign for the series, which debuts on NBC Friday, the American Family Association issued a “misleading and inaccurate” release urging members to direct letters and phone calls of protest to local NBC affiliates, according to GLAAD.

AFA is the same organization that launched an attack against Ford Motor Co. because of that company's policy of LGBT inclusion last month. The attack prompted Ford’s Land Rover and Jaguar brands to pull advertising from a number of gay publications. Last month, after meeting with a group of concerned gay activists, Ford reaffirmed its commitment to the gay community by reversing its decision and placing a series of corporate ads for all of its brands in gay media.

Many NBC affiliates are standing firm, telling protestors that if they don't like the show to simply turn it off. "I think they're going to find it's far less controversial than others would have them believe," said Steve Pontius, executive vice president of Waterman Broadcasting, which owns NBC affiliates in Florida and Virginia. Pontius watched the first episode and says that while it deals with serious issues, "This is fiction and people should not forget that."

According to a statement from GLAAD, which has viewed the first two episodes of the series, the show, which also features the daughter of the priest selling drugs, attempts to be fair and inclusive with regard to its gay and bisexual characters. "It doesn't surprise me that the American Family Association would be afraid of this series. It shows a family that's both deeply religious and loving and accepting of their gay son," said Damon Romine, GLAAD's entertainment media director. "I'm sure the AFA is terrified that a show like this might open people's eyes to the fact that anti-gay bigotry is neither a religious nor a family value."

GLAAD has issued a statement urging people to contact their local NBC affiliates and let them know “you want the freedom to choose whether to watch 'The Book of Daniel', and encourage your affiliate not to give in to pressure from anti-gay extremists who seek to censor this program.”

NBC affiliates can be located at

Postal Mail To:
Bob Wright, Chairman
30 Rockefeller Plaza
New York, NY 10112

The Book of Daniel premieres this Friday, January 6, at 9 PM ET.

Written By Ross von Metzke

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