GLAAD and National Hispanic Media Coalition's boycott of 'Jose Luis Sin Censura' gains traction
A months-long campaign by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the National Hispanic Media Coalition to protest the Liberman Broadcasting talk show "Jose Luis Sin Censura" has picked up steam, with one major TV station agreeing to drop the program from its line-up.
The organizations said Thursday that two advertisers, AT&T and Time Warner Cable, had withdrawn advertising from the show, which is produced in Burbank and runs on Liberman's Spanish-language Estrella TV network, including on the network's flagship station, KRCA-TV Channel 62 in Los Angeles.
In addition, Miami station WSVN-TV Channel 7, owned by Sunbeam Television Corp., dropped the show from one of its digital channels.
One of the network's most popular daytime programs, "Jose Luis Sin Censura" has been described as an extreme version of a raunchy Spanish-language Jerry Springer, complete with flying fists and hair-pulling brawls between guests and an occasional audience member. The audience at times chants anti-gay slurs at show participants.
"There are young people watching this program. It is this kind of content that gives teenagers, and even adults, the green light to use this language and act violently against gay and transgender people," GLAAD President Jarrett Barrios said in an interview. "It is our hope that other advertisers and fair-minded broadcasters who are worried about these depictions will not support or air this show."
Liberman Broadcasting's chief operating officer, Winter Horton, said he has reached out to GLAAD and National Hispanic Media Coalition representatives to discuss their complaints. The two sides have scheduled a meeting for later this month.
"We want to address their concerns," Horton said.
The privately held Burbank-based company has been expanding. It has added affiliate TV stations and increased advertising revenue to its Estrella TV network. The company's 2010 revenues were $115.7 million, an increase of 13% over the previous year.
But the service is not without its detractors. A TV station in Wichita, Kan., dropped the network late last year after receiving complaints about its programming, including sex scenes in Estrella TV's late-night fare.
In February, GLAAD and the National Hispanic Media Coalition filed a complaint with the FCC, documenting what they found to be objectionable content in more than 20 episodes of "Jose Luis Sin Censura," including obscenities and anti-gay epithets.
"We have received a number of complaints about Estrella TV, but this particular program is incredibly egregious," said Jessica Gonzalez, vice president of policy and legal affairs for the National Hispanic Media Coalition. "There is also violence against women, violence against members of the gay and lesbian community, obscenities and language that you would never hear on English-language television. The only reason this has gone on for as long as it has is because there aren't many Spanish speakers at the FCC."
An FCC spokesman said the matter was still pending.
-- Meg James
For the record: The original version of this post said that Time Warner Cable had withdrawn its advertising from the show. A Time Warner Cable spokesman later said the company had not advertised in "Jose Luis Sin Censura" and the post was modified. However, Time Warner Cable subsquently said indeed they had advertised on the show, which the post now reflects.