WASHINGTON (BP)–A conservative group says Rosie O’Donnell, who recently disclosed her homosexuality, will appear on a Nickelodeon Network program in which children will be asked if they think homosexuality is morally wrong and whether they believe laws are needed to protect homosexuals from discrimination.
Nick News, the program in question, is aimed at viewers between the ages of eight and 13.
While Nickelodeon admits it is “researching and compiling information” about a program focusing on “diversity and tolerance,” the Traditional Values Coalition (TVC) alleges that the network is lying about its real goal — promoting the homosexual agenda on a popular kids’ television program.
Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the TVC, said the Nick News program is being produced by Linda Ellerbee, a long-time supporter of homosexual causes, according to the TVC, and will feature an appearance by O’Donnell. Lafferty did not reveal the source of her information except to say it came from “insiders.”
“It’s time for Nickelodeon to get its story straight about their plans to promote homosexuality on their children’s network,” Lafferty said.
Lafferty said her organization has learned that O’Donnell will be the only adult on the set of the program and will be interacting with children before and during the taping.
“What kind of pro-homosexual message will she be giving these children?” Lafferty asked. “Where’s the balance? Why not invite Dr. Laura on the show?” a reference to conservative talk show host Laura Schlessinger.
Lafferty accused Nickelodeon of deception. Despite statements from the network, Lafferty said an article in the Washington Blade newspaper revealed that the program had already completed its research and development phase and that homosexual activists would participate in the show.
“Nickelodeon lied to me twice about the status of this program and the involvement of a homosexual activist group in its production. Nickelodeon’s leadership cannot be trusted to tell the truth about this show. I was also told that Nickelodeon would not ask children invasive questions about homosexuality, but I have a copy of the questions that will be asked. I consider them inappropriate,” Lafferty said.
According to the TVC, it has obtained the following questions intended for the program.
What do you think about homosexuals? Do you think it is morally wrong to be a homosexual? Why or why not?
Many kids these days are growing up in families that are non-traditional (have two moms, or two dads). What do you think about that?
Many schools are bringing issues about homosexuality and diversity into classrooms. Do you think these kinds of things should be taught in school? Why or why not?
Do you think homosexuals are discriminated against because of who they are?
Do you think we need laws to protect gays and lesbians from discrimination? Why or why not?
David Bittler, senior communications director for Nickelodeon, refused to acknowledge whether the questions were in fact being planned as part of the program. However, he insisted the Nick News program was still in the early stages of production.
“The claims being made by the Traditional Values Coalition are unfounded if not misguided. Nick News is researching and compiling information for a special focusing on issues of diversity and tolerance with specific attention to the issue of same-sex parented families,” he told CNSNews.com via e-mail.
Bittler also stated that the program has not been taped and that content would be evaluated to make it appropriate for his audience.
“The special has not yet been produced, and any presumption of its content is premature. In the tradition of Nick News, the content will be totally age appropriate for our viewers,” Bittler said.
He refused further comment on the subject.
Lafferty said any homosexual message is inappropriate for Nickelodeon viewers.
“The truth is that Nickelodeon is working with the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) to promote this show. GLAAD’s whole purpose for existence is to push positive portrayals of homosexuality in the media,” she said.
Lafferty also said Nickelodeon has “blocked its main e-mail address and is not accepting e-mails from concerned parents.”
When parents call to voice their disapproval over the show, “they’re being given the runaround,” Lafferty charged.
Nickelodeon does not have an official target date for airing the program, but the TVC claims it has information that the network plans to air the program in mid-June.
The TVC is urging its supporters to sign a petition voicing their disapproval of the program. Lafferty said the petition would be delivered to Nickelodeon.
Matt Pyeatt is a staff writer for CNSNews.com. Used by permission.