Gay Media Project

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Name of Organization: Gay Media Project

The Gay Media Project was formed by John Wiles, Bob Schoenberg, and others, including an approximately equal number of women since gender parity was a concern and objective of the group. Bob Stewart was a member and was involved in crafting bylaws for the group.

The Group's mission was to monitor media coverage concerning Lesbians and gay people, to promote accurate, realistic and positive coverage of gay issues and persons in print, radio, and television.

GMP subscribed to a press clipping service to receive all news items related to gays and Lesbians and matters related to homosexuality.

GMP also organized opposition to negative and stereotypical portrayals of gays and Lesbians in television programming, initiating letter writing campaigns to national networks and local affiliates.

In late 1974 there was a spate of negative portrayals of Lesbians and gays that incited much opposition and GMP organized protest campaigns decrying the following:

A September 10, 1974 NBC TV movie entitled "Born Innocent" starring Linda Blair as a 14-yearold runaway who, when held in a center for delinquents is sexually brutalized by a character depicted as Lesbian.

["Born Innocent" TV Movie (1974)]

An October 8, 1974, episode of ABC's "Marcus Welby, M.D.", starring Robert Young, entitled "The Outrage", about a teenage boy sexually assaulted by his male teacher, which equated homosexuality with pedophilia, and sparked nationwide protests. See [article: "The Outrage" (Marcus Welby)] for an account of the development of the episode, nationwide protests, and critical reaction to this and the other two programs described here.

A November 8, 1974, episode of NBC's "Policewoman" starring Angie Dickinson, entitled "Flowers of Evil" which depicted a trio of homicidal Lesbians.

[Woman "Flowers of Evil"]

GMP also met with representatives of KYW-TV and attended public meetings at KYW-TV studios regarding some aspects of media coverage of gay and Lesbian issues in Philadelphia.

Location(s): Gay Media Project held regularly scheduled meetings in the basement of what was then identified as "The Christian Association" on the campus of the University of Pennsylvania.,

Period in existence: 1974 - 19??

Philadelphians who participate/d in this organization: John Wiles, Bob Schoenberg, Bob Stewart, Joe DeMarco, Bill Phillips