The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation provided a hint of what it might have in store for Roland Martin Wednesday when it announced that Brett Ratner, the Hollywood producer who resigned as host of this year’s Academy Awards show after he publicly used the word “fag,” would direct a “groundbreaking video campaign” with GLAAD.
The organization announced Tuesday that Martin met for 90 minutes that day with Herndon Graddick, senior director of programs and communications at GLAAD, in Los Angeles. “The introduction is the beginning of an open and honest dialogue. Both parties came away with a better understanding of one another and look forward to continuing this dialogue,” GLAAD said in a statement.
CNN suspended Martin a week ago over tweets Martin sent during the Super Bowl that GLAAD said were anti-gay. After retailer H&M’s Super Bowl commercial featuring soccer player David Beckham, for example, Martin tweeted, “If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham’s H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him! #superbowl” Martin, a contributing political analyst at CNN, denied his tweets were about homosexuals.
Although GLAAD at first urged that Martin be fired, it said later, “We look forward to a productive dialogue and to working together as well.”
“Yesterday, Martin also spoke out against anti-LGBT violence,” GLAAD spokesman Rich Ferraro said after CNN’s suspension. “We look forward to hearing from CNN and Roland Martin to discuss how we can work together as allies and achieve our common goal of reducing such violence as well as the language that contributes to it. . . . Our goal is to ensure better coverage that works toward ending anti-LGBT violence.”
Ratner pulled out of the Oscars show in November amid controversy over his use of the word “fag” during a Q&A following a screening of his new movie, “Tower Heist.” The next day Eddie Murphy, who accepted the job of hosting the program at Ratner’s request, withdrew, KTLA-TV in Los Angeles reported at the time.
GLAAD said Ratner met with its board of directors over the weekend in a meeting that included Brian Grazer, producer of the Academy Awards, as well as directors Adam Shankman and Bryan Singer, among others.
“Working together with GLAAD has been a very positive and enlightening experience for me, and I could not be more pleased to be developing this crucial campaign to help educate people that we all share the same humanity,” Ratner was quoted as saying. “I am excited to get to work on this program and hope that minds and hearts are opened by what we create.”