ANNOUNCED AGAINST PARAMOUNT OVER "DR. LAURA"
Wednesday, March 10, 2000
Tyler (818) 893-4075
Alan Klein (646)-486-1910
Erin Malec, Horizons Foundation,
AGAINST PARAMOUNT OVER "DR. LAURA"
& Horizons Foundation Organizing Protest for March 21
Hires Crisis Management Team
TV Execs "Squirming"
CA -- The
StopDrLaura.com coalition announced today that protests will be
held at the gates of Paramount Studios, Tuesday March 21, 8:30-10:30
a.m. PST. Paramount Television Group is located at 5555 Melrose
Avenue in Hollywood.
would never give a TV show to a host that called any other minority
'biological errors,'" said Robin Tyler, lead organizer of the protest
and a member of the StopDrLaura.com team. "We will take our message
to the gates of Paramount."
The studio plans
to offer "Dr. Laura" on television this fall. Schlessinger has used
her current radio program to rail against gays and lesbians, calling
them "deviant," "biological errors" and has suggested that gays
are likely to be involved in pedophilia.
will be co-sponsored by The
Horizons Foundation. Two weeks ago, the Child Welfare League
of America and the National Mental Health Association of America
joined Horizons to run full-page ads in the New York Times, L.A.
Times, San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner asking
Dr. Laura to consider the effect of her anti-gay rhetoric on children.
Schlessinger failed to respond to Horizons' open letter.
"It is now up
to Paramount to mitigate the damage Dr. Laura causes and refuses
to acknowledge by shelving the ill-conceived concepts of a Dr. Laura
TV program," said Peter Teague, Horizons' executive director.
Tyler said she
expects the protest to be sizable, as it comes on the heels of the
passage of an anti-gay ballot measure in California, the Knight
Initiative, which Schlessinger actively promoted on her radio program.
"Prop. 22 was as much her victory as Sen. Knight's," Tyler said.
"Enough is enough."
The groups decided
on a protest at a meeting last night in Los Angeles, attended by
a number of leading gay and civil rights activists, and entertainment
announcement comes just eight days after the debut of StopDrLaura.com.
The site has received more than three million hits, and ratcheted
up the controversy over "Dr. Laura" to a point where local TV stations
are "squirming," forcing Schlessinger to hire a crisis management
being "besieged" with emails and telephone calls, reports the New
York Times (3/5). "She hired a crisis-management firm," reported
the latest edition of People magazine (3/20). Earlier in the week,
Schlessinger railed against her critics in a 15-minute monologue
during her daily radio program.
'Dr.' Laura into a tizzy" the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported
on Schlessinger's strange diatribe, in which she called John McCain
"despicable," labeled her critics "fascists," and even diagnosed
the entire sitcom "Frasier" as "sick."
LOCAL TV STATIONS
"SQUIRMING" Meanwhile, some of the local TV stations that have signed
up to air Paramount's "Dr. Laura" show this fall may be having second
thoughts. The alternative Houston Press reported this week that
"executives are squirming" at the affiliate there, Channel 2. "KPRC
has found itself stuck in a roiling controversy months before the
first show is even broadcast this fall," the Press reported.
Francisco's KPIX, which also purchased "Dr. Laura," quickly found
itself featured on the front page of StopDrLaura.com, and also in
the bulls-eye of activists in that city. As the San Francisco board
of supervisors passed a resolution opposing Schlessinger's anti-gay
rhetoric, activists began discussions about protesting at KPIX.