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Tivo/FOF: We're recording our unhappiness

by Jeremy Hooper

Last October, we expressed concern over a partnership between Focus on the Family and Tivo, in which the extremely anti-gay "pro-family" group had teamed with the digital video recording pioneers in order to help shape the programming options that are deemed acceptable for younger eyes. However, after we learned that FOF was just one of several groups involved with that particular project, we let it go.

Well now a newTivo/FOF partnership has come to our attention, and this one is harder for us to swallow. This from FOF 's website:

Picture 25-15

Okay, so what we have here is a group that fights day and night against gay fathers teaming with a national brand on a contest honoring dads. Tivo is sidling up next to a group that propagates mean-spirited discrimination against an entire population sect! And while the vast majority of entries that will be submitted in this "SuperDad" contest will surely be from well-intentioned kids who want nothing more than to honor their pops, that's not going to change the fact that the organization that's fueling this whole thing is working for a world that keeps queer fathers and sons less-than-equal. We have a tough time remaining silent when we see a company getting in bed with that!

Here, listen to this FOF/Tivo ad announcing the contest:

powered by ODEO

Now compare that with another recent FOF ad:

Hear the disconnect? Hear why those of us who are tired of the fearful campaigns the LGBT community might be troubled with a company whose product we respect joining forces with those who are propagating the misinformation? We certainly do. And for the sake of everyone who wants to see discrimination eliminated rather than emboldened, we feel that we have to speak out about this.

Tivo Father's Day Contest [FOF]

**UPDATE: Joe.MY.God's Joe Jervis has corresponded with a Tivo representative who tries to justify the relationship:

TiVo’s popular KidZone feature has been recognized by many organizations as a great way to protect children from mature programming. Focus on the Family is one such organization that is leveraging the benefits of KidZone for an affiliate promotion of their of own their own design - in this case a Father’s Day contest.

But honestly, is this really an excuse? If they are going to allow FOF to run joint advertising and include their logo in their campaigns, then they are being complacent about the horrible affronts FOF has waged and continues to wage against gay people!

Read more at Joe.My.God: Tivo Joins With Gay Haters? [JMG]

**UPDATE, 6/09: Focus on the inequitable contest [G-A-Y]

***UPDATE, 6/10: If FOF won't post our entry, we'll do it ourselves [G-A-Y]
Focus on the scrubbed Tivo site [G-A-Y]

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Your thoughts

Argh. I JUST bought a brand new TiVo HD machine! So, I went looking on the TiVo site for people to email my displeasure to.

But first, I wanted to find the FOTF page. It's interesting -- from TiVo, you cannot find the FOTF KidZone page. You can only get there from FOTF. Interesting. And GOOD. They keep their nuts hidden in the attic. The other KidZone groups are prominently displayed, and they aren't all great, but they aren't FOTF.

I think we should get PFLAG and GLAAD to get together and do a KidZone guide.

Posted by: ted | Jun 5, 2008 11:36:47 AM

A purportedly mainstream company is allying with a hate group, part of the latter’s attempt to buy some legitimacy.

What if TIVO allied itself with an organization claiming that blacks should not be allowed to marry, that black men regularly raped white women and girls, that blacks were incapable of monogamy, and that blacks were the enemies of America? My guess is that TIVO would never even consider allying itself with an organization spreading such malicious and demonstrably false lies. And if it did, TIVO would be (figuratively) tarred and feathered.

Yet if the lies are about gay people, our society says it’s okay.

But it’s *not* okay.

TIVO has made a decision to ally itself with a hate group. Now it’s up to TIVO subscribers to make a decision of their own.

Posted by: Paul Gordon | Jun 5, 2008 12:32:14 PM

We stopped using Tivo a few years ago when we purchased a DIsh Network satellite and DVR. I'm very happy to be rid of them after reading this.

Way to piss off a huge chunk of your subscribers, Tivo!!!

Posted by: Musicguy | Jun 5, 2008 12:54:56 PM

I sent an email to TiVo's advertising inquiries person, since there's no place to actually correspond via email with them. Basically I said that if TiVo is actually partnering with FotF, I'd make real sure to tell my friends about it as well as any of TiVo's advertisers, especially any that pride themselves on their diversity. I don't know if there are any of those, BTW.

Posted by: Jami | Jun 5, 2008 2:09:08 PM

has anyone contacted Tivo and gotten any response? I love tivo so much and actually feel hurt! Why tivo? WHY? WHere's the love??

Posted by: shirky | Jun 5, 2008 2:16:34 PM

Shirky: There is a broad coalition of activists,journalists, and bloggers who are working on this. Tivo will have no choice but to acknowledge it. Stay tuned.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 5, 2008 2:20:36 PM

Hi All,

I'm a representative for TiVo and want to comment on the post above regarding providing content to TiVo subscribers.

We’ve gotten a few emails this morning on this topic and I'd like to clarifiy the FOTF promotion is an affiliate program designed by that organization to promote TiVo KidZone.

That said, the suggestion above about a GLAAD programming guide is an interesting one and TiVo is open to discussions with any organization who can bring compelling content to our platform.

Posted by: krista | Jun 5, 2008 3:50:13 PM

Krista: I'm glad you have taken the opportunity to respond. But the bottom line is this: FOF is an organization that routinely demonizes LGBT people. They fight against our rights, they deny us of morality, and they even have programs meant to "convert" us. So it's hard for us to swallow any partnership, "affiliate program" or not!

I understand and respect your desire to have a diverse group of participants. But not all groups are created equal. Some are working towards peace and acceptance, some are working towards bias. FOF is working against millions of gay families, many of whom are proud Tivo users. It's really hard to see your company's name dropped and logo utilized for FOF's purposes.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 5, 2008 3:54:45 PM

I'm going to show this to my kids. I'll bet they will make a submission. It would be good if they got lots of submissions for gay dads. Certainly none will have a chance of winning, but it is a good way of reminding them that they are frigging liars.

Posted by: Steve - Geneva, IL | Jun 5, 2008 4:02:19 PM

Steve, everyone: Join the Family Equality Council's call to action. They are getting as many gat families as possible to represent:


Posted by: G-A-Y | Jun 5, 2008 4:05:31 PM

I've created a Facebook group to help convince TiVo to stop promoting bigotry:


Posted by: Ben Ostrowsky | Jun 7, 2008 12:17:29 AM

My son has submitted his posting (Thursday), but as yet his hasn't posted. Nor have any others from kids with gay dads, that I can find. I emailed Jennifer Chrisler at Family Equality Council, and she says others are reporting the same thing. Could there be--surprise!--DISCRIMINATION going on???

Posted by: proudtobedad | Jun 9, 2008 9:49:37 AM

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