In what could be a major step toward resolving the controversy surrounding complaints that remarks made by CNN political analyst Roland Martin via his Twitter feed during the Super Bowl were homophobic, he has agreed to meet with the LGBT-rights group that called for his firing. Martin and GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) confirmed plans to meet last night via Twitter.
Martin tweeted: I look forward to meeting with GLAAD in the near future and having a productive dialogue.
@rolandsmartin We look forward to a productive dialogue and to working together as well.
In a news release this morning, GLAAD said that details of the meeting and its participants are still being determined. "Our goal is to ensure better coverage that works toward ending anti-LGBT violence," the news release said. "Yesterday, CNN spoke out against anti-LGBT violence and Martin reported on Brandon White, a 20 year-old victim of an anti-gay attack in Atlanta."
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The incident sparked a firestorm of controversy, resulting in CNN's decision to suspend Martin from appearing on the air "for the time being."
The Root reported yesterday that the National Association of Black Journalists reacted in a measured way to CNN's decision to suspend Roland Martin's presence on its news broadcasts. "This is a teachable moment for all journalists," said the NABJ in a statement released Wednesday night. "We are reminded that what we communicate in print and broadcast — and now through social media — has considerable power. NABJ does not support any commentary in any medium that is insensitive or offensive."
Hopefully the meeting between Martin and GLAAD will result in positive change. It is much needed at a time when so many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community are experiencing verbal and physical attacks.