They say network television is a profit-oriented business, but that’s obviously not the case when it clashes with Hollywood’s sexual politics. Last week, ABC tried to lecture America with a four-part miniseries on the radical gay Left called When We Rise, and it tanked in the ratings – despite heavy promotion throughout the Academy Awards broadcast the night before the premiere.
Nightly ratings were barely cracking 2 million viewers. The cable network FX drew far larger numbers for its O.J. Simpson miniseries last year. The History Channel drew almost 2 million viewers recently for its miniseries “Six,” about Seal Team Six. Those are obscure cable channels next to ABC.
While ABC’s star-studded propaganda finale drew 2 million viewers on Friday, March 3, CBS drew 6.6 million for Hawaii Five-0 and 6.8 million for Blue Bloods. ABC’s Shark Tank lead-in drew 6 million viewers. This was boutique viewing for the Left, the latest evidence that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) is a dominant Tinseltown player. Their revolution must be televised, no matter how many watch.
The’s show creator, Dustin Lance Black, lamely tried to claim all the ratings weren’t in. “Listen, would I like more people to watch live? Sure. I would also love to own a pet unicorn.”
The gay magazine The Advocate grumbled at gays in a story headlined “When We Fall in Ratings, We Fail Our Movement.” Daniel Reynolds scolded “If you were watching ‘Two Broke Girls’ instead of a groundbreaking depiction of our history then, well, you're part of the problem.”
Even the liberal media felt torn about the show’s lack of appeal. “As a television drama, it often plays like a high-minded, dutiful educational video,” wrote New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik.
Openly gay Washington Post TV critic Hank Stuever was harsher. “I did watch and it put me to sleep, over and over. Boring, clumsy, self-important -- all the things you don't want to be when telling the great gay American story. I know we're SUPPOSED to watch it, but there is such a thing as gaysplaining, and I can't imagine why ABC thought four nights of that was a good idea.”
What’s interesting about that thumbs-down is Stuever chose not to review the show for the actual newspaper. This critique came in a an online chat.
All that puts aside the more serious problem – the “educational” script simply lies, starting with the undying falsehood that Ronald Reagan never lifted a finger for AIDS victims. In the second installment, one character asked, “You think any of those groups are gonna get Reagan to give a damn?” Another replied: “If I didn't know any better, I'd say it's a government plot.” The first man shot back: “Yeah. I work for the government. They couldn't pull something this intricate off. Willfully letting it spread....That's another story.”
President Reagan's HHS Secretary Margaret Heckler proclaimed AIDS was her department's "number one priority" in 1983. AIDS funding skyrocketed in the 1980s, almost doubling each year beginning in 1983 — when the media coverage first exploded — from $44 million to $103 million, $205 million, $508 million, $922 million and then $1.6 billion in 1988.
Then there’s just the corrosive hatred. On the first night, the main character Cleve Jones tells one of his lovers, “I say we just get rid of all the heterosexuals. They're so boring.”
Can you imagine the outcry if a straight character said, "Let's get rid of all the homosexuals?" This was a formula for a flop. It convinced or converted no one in the red states. They watched something more honest and less self-righteous.