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'Access' Denied to Prop 8 Supporters

Access Hollywood's November 8th coverage of California's Proposition 8 featured celebrity opponents but ignored supporters of the ballot measure, which banned same-sex “marriage.”


While ostensibly reporting “celebrity news,” Access Hollywood effectively promoted the opinions of Proposition 8 opponents.  The segment was laden with video clips of celebrities repeating the mantra of “equal rights for same-sex couples.”  


Access coddled the opinions of big-time celebrities by playing clips like this one from Madonna's November 8th concert in Los Angeles: “I'm very sorry to hear that we did not win on Proposition 8 but we will not give up the fight...If we got an African American in the White House, then we can have gay marriages.”


AH reporter Billy Bush told viewers that Madonna shared her opinion on Thursday, “just as over 2,000 people took to the streets of Los Angeles to protest the ban of gay marriage in California.”  His voiceover was accompanied by footage of aerial views showing crowds in the streets of Los Angeles. Actress Janice Dickinson was “among the masses in the streets,” according to Bush.  Access played an interview with Dickinson where she said she wore no makeup, “donned a No on Prop 8 t-shirt” and said “I'll be gosh-darned if I will keep my mouth shut on topics that are so unfair and so unjust.”


Sean Penn and Melissa Etheridge were both received a platform to voice their opposition to the proposition's passage. Sean Penn was pictured commenting on the proposition outside of the BAFTA/LA Britannia awards, telling reporters, “I think its one shameful aspect of where we are today … but I think that with time, common sense will prevail.” Penn is starring in a new film entitled Milk, which features California's first openly gay elected official.


Outspoken lesbian singer Melissa Etheridge has said she will not pay taxes because she is “not a full citizen.” Bush touted Etheridge's stand as a “bold protest.” Etheridge's “star quote” followed: “There is a lot I can do with the extra half a million dollars that I will be keeping instead of handing it over to the state of California.”


Bush quoted actor T.R. Knight, a gay celebrity who volunteered with “No on Prop 8”: “While some brought cookies, juice and cappuccinos to show their support, there were those quote 'filled with anger and bile' like the man who screamed 'homos and lesbians' and others who spat.”


Erin Brown is an intern at the Culture and Media Institute, a division of the Media Research Center.