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ABC Responds to Complaint About Gays
Netlore Archive
Description:  Email rumor
Status:  True
Circulating since:  April 1999
Analysis:  See below

Email text contributed by Maggie, 13 April 1999:

Date: Friday, April 09, 1999 7:41 PM
Subject: ABC Network and Homosexuality

Hey...the following is a letter I wrote to ABC concerning a program called "THE PRACTICE". One of the lawyer's mother decided she was gay and wanted her son to go to court to help her get a marriage license to marry her 'partner'. I just sent the letter yesterday and really did not expect a reply....but I did....

My original message was:

ABC is obsessed (or should I say abscessed) with the subject of homosexuality. I will no longer watch any of your attempts to convince the world that homosexuality is ok. THE PRACTICE can be a fairly good show but last night's program was so typical of your agenda. You picked the 'dufus' of the office to be the one who was against the idea of his mother being gay and made him look like a whiner because he had convictions.

This type of mentality calls people like me "gay basher". Read the first chapter of Romans (that's in the Bible) and see what the apostle Paul had to say about it...He and God and Jesus were all 'gay bashers.'

What if she'd fallen in love with her cocker spaniel.....is that an alternative lifestyle? (By the way....the Bible speaks against that, too.)

Jim Neugent

Here is their reply.......

The ABC online Webmaster wrote:

How about getting your nose out of the Bible (which is ONLY a book of stories compiled by MANY different writers hundreds of years ago) and read the Declaration of Independence (what our nation is built on) where it says "All Men are Created Equal" - and try treating them that way for a change!? Or better yet, try thinking for yourself and stop using an archaic book of stories as your crutch for your existence.

I replied to them......

Thanks for your reply. Evidently, I hit a nerve from your harsh reply. I will share it with all with whom I come in contact. Hopefully, the Arkansas Democrat Newspaper will include it in one of their columns.

And....I will be praying for you.

Jim Neugent
Mena, Arkansas

Please re-send to all in your mailbox.....


Comments:  This is no hoax. It really happened, and Mr. Neugent has gotten a fair bit of mileage out of it by sharing the correspondence in a chain email. As of this writing (November 2000), it has been circulating for over a year and replicated on dozens of Websites.

The earliest authentication of the exchange came from ABC Online itself, which began sending out this autoresponse to viewer queries in April 1999:

Subject: RE: technical help
Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 19:47:05 -0400
From: ABC Online Webmaster

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

We regret that a representative of ABC inappropriately expressed his personal views in response to a viewer's comments, and we sincerely apologize for the disrespectful tone of his answer.

This employee no longer works for the company. We take our viewers' feedback very seriously, as well as their right to express it; and we expect all our employees to do the same.

Thank you for taking the time to write to us.

ABC Online Webmaster

The loose cannon was, in fact, fired by ABC immediately following the incident, and the network apologized profusely to Neugent. "We truly regret that this happened," an ABC spokesman wrote, "and we hope you understand by our actions that we will not tolerate this kind of behavior from any member of our staff."

Other sources:

Disney/ABC Fires Staffer for Anti-Christian Comments
American Family Association alert, 22 April 1999

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