It’s one thing for the critical establishment to carp about ”Ellen’s” rigid gay-ness, but when a well known lesbian activist does it — well, that’s news.
Chastity Bono, the high profile entertainment media director of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and last season a bit player on ”Ellen,” is soliciting support for her favorite sitcom in a novel way: by calling the show ”too gay specific.”
If ”Ellen” is going to be picked up for a sixth season by ABC, the creators need to slow down — ”take smaller steps” and chart a more moderate path, ad-vises the 29 year old daughter of Sonny Bono and Cher.
”(‘Ellen’) is so gay it’s excluding a large part of our society,” Bono tells Variety. ”A lot of the stuff on it is somewhat of an inside joke. It’s one thing to have a gay lead character, but it’s another when every episode deals with pretty specific gay issues.”
ABC sees ”Ellen” as a betrayal, according to Bono, who visits the set regularly. ”Ellen (DeGeneres) has gone in a totally different direction than she said she would. Originally, she said this wasn’t going to be the ‘Gay Ellen Show,’ that every episode wasn’t going to deal with gay issues. But it pretty much has. And this is something ABC hasn’t been happy about.”
Lest anyone tag her a turncoat, Bono is quick to point out she remains a big fan of ”Ellen.”
”The show is not too gay for me,” she clarifies. ”But we have to be realistic. This is network primetime. When a show treats gay issues over and over again, it becomes ‘a gay show,’ and the average viewer says, ‘Hey, I’m not gay — I’m not going to watch it.’ ”