Fullscreen, a subscription based streaming service with licensed content including Gossip Girl and original shows from creators such as Grace Helbig has launched it’s Pride Month in possibly the worst shape yet.
Despite green lighting a new late night talk show from Drag Race alum Willam, and working with LGBT+ individuals such as Amanda McKenna and Tyler Oakley – the series Apologies in Advance with Andrea Russett has recently featured a segment discussed across social media as exploitative and problematic.
The four minute long segment in her recent episode with Gabbie Hanna of The Gabbie Show features Andrea and her cohost comedian Rachel Scanlon scrolling through Grindr, impersonating as a male and messaging men. Despite scrolling past numerous accounts that featured heavily identifiable face photos – only usernames were censored (and not from every filming angle). The duo could be described as treating gay men as zoo animals with dialogue such as “…Vers Top? What is that? I want to look at more of them!” setting an uncomfortable tone.
CEO of Fullscreen George Strombolous was unable to confirm to HISKIND that they got consent from all gay men shown in the segment – but rejected claims that they could’ve potentially outed individuals saying they “tried to ensure no one was outed”.
“I respect that in your opinion, the Grindr segment was offensive,” he told HISKIND. “Two of the producers on this show are gay men and they both loved the moment”. When questioned if a segment that involved racial slurs was ‘loved’ by members of that race – would be approved to air, he did not respond.
The segment, still available to watch, is the most recent example of gay dating apps, such as Grindr, being used for comedic effect. French television presenter Cyril Hanouna used a feminine tone of voice and mocking effect when reading out messages from men who replied to an advert he posted on a gay dating website. Almost 20,000 complaints regarding the segment on Mr Hanouna’s nightly show Touche pas à mon poste (TPMP – “Don’t touch my TV” in English) had been made to the French media regulator by the end of the weekend, reports said.
Despite the production team and CEO of Fullscreen acknowledging the segment was an example of them “not being right 100% of the time” – the four minute long segment remains up as of writing this article, with new episodes of Apologies in Advance with Andrea Russett continuing to be uploaded.