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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 24, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 08
GLAAD approves of Roland Martin's on-air apology
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GLAAD approves of Roland Martin's on-air apology

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Roland Martin, the CNN commentator who was suspended by the cable news outlet in early February for a series of homophobic tweets he sent out during the Super Bowl, is off the hot seat after the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) approved of his on-air February 19 apology.

Just weeks ago, GLAAD called for Martin's firing over the incident, which ultimately got Martin suspended from appearing on the network.

During his Sunday 'Perspectives' segment on his show Washington Watch, Martin spoke of his recent meeting with GLAAD's Herndon Graddick over the tweets. Martin told viewers the meeting was 'helpful' and said that he is sympathetic to many of GLAAD's stances.

Recalling what he told viewers were facts, he said, 'I have historically supported many of the issues important to the GLAAD agenda, such as ending 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy, Gay adoption, and including Gays in hate crimes laws.'

He went on to note that he believes all people have a right to be heard.

'If you're Gay or straight, your voice matters. If you are a pastor or activist, your voice matters,' said Martin. 'I have no plan to abandon my goal as a truth-teller on a variety of issues; and yes, that includes those that may be on the LGBT agenda. I am confident that this table can serve as an example of Dr. King's 'table of brotherhood,' and I and this excellent team will do all we can to advance dialogue so we all can learn, grow, and prosper together.'

GLAAD applauded Martin's comments as an 'important step' in mending the hurt his tweets may have caused.

'Martin today took another important step, acknowledging that his words had a negative impact, and making it clear that he understands how serious the issues of anti-LGBT bullying and violence are,' the organization said on Sunday. 'This incident, along with recent incidents of violence directed at LGBT people, sparked a national dialogue centered around why the issue of anti-LGBT violence needs to be taken seriously.'

Martin caused an uproar with his Super Bowl Sunday tweets, which seemed to advocate violence against Gays.

'If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!' Roland said in one of his tweets.

Another of Martin's tweets read, 'Who the hell was that New England Patriot they just showed in a head to toe pink suit? Oh, he needs a visit from #teamwhipdatass.'

Seattle Gay News has learned that this wasn't the first time Martin had earned GLAAD's ire. Last year, Martin defended Tracy Morgan after the 30 Rock star said in a standup routine that he would 'pull out a knife and stab' his son if he were to find out he was Gay.

'Morgan is keenly aware of what society actually thinks, and he simply said it onstage. Isn't that what comedians have always done?' Martin wrote of the controversy over Morgan's statements.

It should be noted that Morgan also met with GLAAD after being publicly chastised by the group over his comments.

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