The Human Rights Campaign is demoting Fox Corporation from its list of top workplaces following Fox News’ coverage of Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill and LGBTQ+ issues.
Aryn Fields, HRC’s senior press secretary, said that HRC has deducted 25 points from Fox Corp.’s score in its Corporate Equality Index. Fox Corp. had been among the companies earning a “100 percent” rating as best places to work for LGBTQ+ quality.
Fields said in a statement, “Fox News has a history of sharing misinformation and disinformation about the LGBTQ+ community. We know from our own research, which we put out earlier this week, what their disinformation and misinformation means for the LGBTQ+ community: perpetuating stigma and marginalization of transgender and non-binary people.
Fields added, “At a time when transgender people – especially transgender children – are under attack in statehouses across the country, rhetoric has real consequences. We can no longer allow Fox Corporation to maintain it’s score if Fox News personalities and contributors continue to deny the existence of transgender people, minimize the violence transgender individuals face, refer to parents of LGBTQ+ youth as perverts, or equate leaders of LGBTQ+ diversity and inclusion efforts with sex offenders. Each of these actions happened in the last 72 hours. Enough is enough.”
In response, Fox pointed to its hiring this week of Caitlyn Jenner, the transgender athlete and former gubernatorial candidate. The company also pointed to a number of LGBTQ+ benefits offered in support of same sex, trans and non-binary employees. Fox Corp. has received a 100% score for the past several years. The distinction is given to companies that “are committed to implementing LGBTQ-inclusive policies and practices.”
But a number of its personalities and commentators have targeted The Walt Disney Co. after it came out against Florida’s new parental rights law, which has been dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill by opponents. HRC’s action came in the aftermath of Governor Ron DeSantis’s signing of the bill, as other states consider similar legislation. It prohibits classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity from Kindergarten through third grade.
The progressive advocacy group Media Matters said that Fox News has mentioned Disney more than 350 times this week and has given it more than three hours of coverage. HRC pointed to a number of segments on the network, including a clip from The Five in which Greg Gutfeld said, “If you really want to talk to a 5-year-old or a 7-year-old or an 8-year-old about their sexuality and gender, that’s on you. You’re a pervert. You’re a weirdo. I don’t give a damn if you’re a teacher.”
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