For the first time in history, the mega popular European singing competition Eurovision will be airing on American television. Outside of the US, Eurovision is a pop culture event for the ages. Last year’s finale drew in 197 million viewers. To put that in perspective, 115 million people watched this year’s Super Bowl (the most watched televised event in the States). Eurovision has also introduced us to tremendous talent like Celine Dion (who won the competition back in 1988) and everyone’s favorite bearded drag queen Conchita Wurst. Entertainment sites have been all over this story, but most of the articles leave out one very important fact: the only US channel broadcasting Eurovision will be Logo TV.
Yes, the home of RuPaul’s Drag Race (and not much else these days) will be the first American channel to bring Eurovision stateside. Though I’m sure execs aren’t expecting the same type of viewership as the broadcasts that take place overseas, this is still a pretty big deal. So it strikes me as odd that so many articles went to great lengths to leave this info out.
On one hand, it’s just bad journalism. GQ.com and Capital FM suck readers into the article with the most newsworthy tidbit: that it’s the first time Eurovision is airing in America. But once the reader has clicked through, they have no idea where to watch it. Wouldn’t this be a required part of telling the story? Why bother giving me the history of Eurovision if you don’t tell me where to watch it?
"If this special was airing on one of the major networks or basically any channel that didn’t have a primarily gay audience, it would be the lead."
But to me, there seems to be a much bigger issue at play here. If this special was airing on one of the major networks or basically any channel that didn’t have a primarily gay audience, it would be the lead. But because it’s Logo, it doesn’t even get mentioned. And in some articles where the gay network is name-dropped, it isn’t until much later in the story.
I guess these mainstream “news” outlets are afraid of scaring readers away with the mention of anything gay. It’s clear that GQ’s target reader is an affluent, heterosexual, white male. The magazine and its companion website rarely cover anything of interest to people outside of this demographic. It’s baffling that a men’s magazine built on a platform of fashion (an industry basically ruled by gays) continues to ignore this large and very profitable demographic. I mean, have they seen how most straight guys dress? If anyone is likely to follow their luxury fashion advice, it’s most certainly us gays.
When it comes to pop culture, specifically music, 2016 is rich with quality and productivity. But when it comes to human rights, acceptance, and tolerance, this year is nothing but a huge step backward. I know that omitting this single detail may not seem like a big deal to many, but as a journalist and as a gay man, it’s a pretty big deal to me. They’re cutting out an important part of a story out of fear of alienating their core demographic. And that’s so sad.
I know I’ve been a tough critic of Logo for ditching most of their original programming and packing their schedule with syndicated reruns. But I stand with them on this one. They’re taking a leap at getting some new programming on the channel, and they’re doing it in a big way. It’s a shame that everyone’s masculinity is so fragile that they can’t even tell the complete story.
To fill in the missing pieces, Logo TV is airing Eurovision this Saturday, May 14 starting at 3p.m. The competition will also stream on LogoTV.com and in the LogoTV mobile app.
Follow me on Snapchat to watch my discussion about this story. (Sn: uptownbourgeois)