A national PBS special, "OUT in America," has its public-television premiere Wednesday evening — but not in Utah. Local PBS affiliates KUED and KBYU are among several nationally that have not scheduled the one-hour program.
GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) is urging viewers in those areas to call their local stations if they would like it to air "OUT in America." In Austin, Tex., advocates launched a petition drive to get KLRU to show the film, and the station has now scheduled it to run Sunday.
KUED spokeswoman Mary Dickson said "OUT in America" was offered to affiliates as an optional program to air during pledge drives, but the station is not having a "full-blown" drive in June like others are. Last month, KUED ran "Stonewall Uprising," a documentary about the gay-rights movement, and on June 14 the station will air "Two Spirits," a film about the hate-driven murder of a transgender teen. The station also produced its own documentary, "Outside," about homeless LGBT youths in Salt Lake City.
"As part of our commitment to diversity and to making all voices heard, we do air many LGBT films," Dickson said via e-mail.
"OUT in America," which will air in 72 percent of U.S. markets, features interviews with both well-known individuals, including Bravo TV host Andy Cohen and author Armistead Maupin, and everyday people like two men named Howard who have been together for five decades.
"What’s different about our show is that it really celebrates what it means to be LGBT in the United States," Andrew Goldberg, the film’s producer and director, said in an interview. "It was very disappointing to learn that several markets would not be running the show, but I’m hopeful that they will change their minds in the future."
KBYU is Utah’s secondary affiliate and has "limitations" on the hours of PBS programming it may air, said KBYU marketing director Keith Willes. The viewer-supported station is part of BYU Broadcasting, a service of LDS Church-owned Brigham Young University.
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