Calling a The O'Reilly Factor
segment on a gay McDonald's ad “insulting and irresponsible,” the
Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) issued a call
to action Thursday against Bill O'Reilly and Fox News.
In the segment that aired on Wednesday,
O'Reilly linked being gay to terrorism while discussing with Fox
News anchor Jane Skinner a gay-inclusive McDonald's ad campaign
running in France.
“Instead of evaluating the commercial
in a fair manner, O'Reilly used the occasion to defame the LGBT
community, suggesting that McDonald's might begin marketing to
terrorists simply because the company produced a gay-friendly
television commercial,” GLAAD said.
The campaign titled Come As You Are
(Venez Commee Vous Etes) includes a gay television ad which
suggests a teenager is about to come out gay to his father over a
meal at McDonald's.
In the ad, the son sits in a booth
while looking at his class photo when his cellphone rings.
“I was just thinking about you,” he
says. “I was just looking at our class picture.”
“I miss you too,” he adds before
The son is joined by his father, who
comments on the class photo: “Too bad your class is all boys, you
could get all the girls.”
The son smiles thoughtfully at his
father, then, as the camera pulls away, the pair begin to converse.
O'Reilly hounded Skinner about whether
the ad made her hungry for McDonald's. She eventually answered that
she was always hungry for McDonald's.
The campaign is “part of an
overreaching campaign called Come As You Are,” Skinner
explained. “So they show people in different walks of life. This
happens to be their gay-friendly ad.”
“OK,” O'Reilly responded. “Do
they have an al-Qaeda ad, you know, come as you are? You know?”
In calling for the action alert, GLAAD
said programs such as The O'Reilly Factor “have a
responsibility to cover issues with a level of respect and civility.”
“Bill O'Reilly failed to live up to
that standard in making these defamatory remarks,” the group added.
“Fox News Channel is equally accountable for allowing
O'Reilly a platform for this insulting and irresponsible commentary.”
A McDonald's spokesperson said the
purpose of the campaign was to “show society the way it is today
“There's obviously no problem with
homosexuality in France today,” the spokesperson added.
France, however, recognizes gay and
lesbian couples with a union similar to a domestic partnership, not
marriage, and does not permit gay adoption.