Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel has an extremely informative piece on the thuggish leader of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov. All went well until the end when Gumble was having a chat with the correspondent. That individual referred to the Chechens having a problem with “the gay lifestyle.” That is very offensive and I was shocked that it was not edited out. Chechnya has a problem with gay people (who they claim don’t exist in Chechnya). The problem is not with what they do (as in lifestyle) but in who they are, which is gay.
A sexual orientation is not a “lifestyle.” It is the language of the religious right and it is used to promote the concept of a certain stereotype of gay people; one that nobody really fits. It is derogatory language and HBO producers need to be more aware. Time Warner and HBO have been allies for as long as I can recall. This is just an unfortunate error. However, in my opinion it requires an on-air apology.
I have reached out in a couple of ways. Perhaps they will take this seriously. My partner and I were in Gumble’s company several times. He is most certainly not a problem in any way whatsoever.
As I was typing I received one reply from a senior executive. He identified the show’s publicist and forwarded my inquiry to him.