Gay TV and Straight America
"A highly engaging and impeccably researched study of the cultural anxieties produced in the destabilization of straight and gay identity." --Michael DeAngelis, DePaul University "Original and compelling . . . an example of the best kind of television scholarship. Gay TV and Straight America is a rare find." --Sasha Torres, author of Black, White and In Color: Television and Black Civil Rights After years of relative silence on the subject of homosexuality, television in the 1990s saw a striking increase in gay material. Sitcoms like Friends, Seinfeld, Ellen, and Will & Grace, and dramas like Party of Five, Beverly Hills 90210, Homicide: Life on the Street, and The Commish added numerous gay and lesbian characters, aired special gay-themed episodes, and included references to homosexuality nearly every week. In Gay TV and Straight America, Ron Becker draws on a wide range of political and cultural indicators to explain this sudden upsurge of gay material on prime-time network television. He argues that the growing visibility of gay material both reflected and deepened Straight America's anxieties about social fragmentation and the politics of sexuality. In this cultural climate, gay material became a highly charged but also highly valuable narrowcasting-age tool for television executives looking to target a quality audience of well educated, upscale adults interested in "edgy" programming. Bringing together Supreme Court rulings, media coverage of gay rights battles, debates about multiculturalism and political correctness, analyses of numerous prime-time programs and much more, Becker helps us understand just what gay TV reveals about Straight America. In today's cultural climate wheresame-sex marriage bans are passed with wide margins yet millions of viewers tune in weekly to programs like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, this book offers valuable insight on the complex condition of America's sexual politics. Ron Becker is an assistant professor of communications at Miami University, Ohio.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Straight Panic and American Culture in the 1990s
Network Narrowcasting and the Slumpy Demographic
The Affordable Multicultural Politics of Gay Chic
Gay Material and PrimeTime Network Television
Other editions - View all
advertisers American antigay anxieties appeal argued asked attitudes audience became become broadcasting cable called chapter characters civil rights claimed conservative consumers course Court critics cultural debate demographic difference discourses diversity drama early Ellen emerged episode example executives fact forced Frasier Friends gay characters gay material gay rights gay-themed gays and lesbians groups growing helped heterosexual homophobic homosexuality important included increase increasingly industry interest issues John liberal lives looking mainstream majority male March marriage military minority multicultural narratives October offered panic Party of Five percent play politics Press prime prime-time producers programming Queer Quoted racial ratings reports Roseanne same-sex season seemed serve sexual identity shift sitcom social specific story straight straight panic television tell University values viewers World York