Fox cancels 'Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay' reality special
By Wade Paulsen, 05/29/2004
Is it just us, or are Fox's cancellation announcements more interesting than its upcoming schedule (save for The Casino)?
Reuters reports that Fox has decided to cancel the planned June 7 telecast of Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay, a two-hour special in which two straight men competed for $50,000 by trying to pass themselves off as homosexuals to (1) their friends, (2) their families and (3) complete strangers for a week. At the end of the week, a panel of gay men that had been told that one of the men was gay would award the person it picked as the "gay" man $50,000.
This would have been the third reality show to test "gaydar," along with Bravo's Boy Meets Boy and Fox's previously-cancelledPlaying It Straight. However, the concept of Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay generated a bundle of protests from gays, led by the advocacy group GLAAD (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation),
Why would GLAAD be opposed to a show in which striaght men experience a gay lifestyle? Perhaps because the men referred to their one-week task as their "worst nightmare" and say that they were "trapped in gay hell." Considering that Massachusetts has now legalized same-sex marriage, GLAAD viewed this show as not just a step backward but as "an exercise in systematic humiliation."
The cancellation of Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay is Fox's third major reality-show cancellation in two weeks, joining the cancellations of Playing It Straight and Forever Eden. However, Fox still plans to air two reality series starting in June: The Casino and The Simple Life 2, with at least four more (American Idol 4, The Billionaire: Branson's Quest for the Best. The Partner and The Next Great Champ) planned for later in the 2004-05 season.
Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay was developed by Rocket Science Laboraties, which has produced many one-shot Fox hits (Joe Millionaire, Temptation Island, My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance) that haven't done well in a second or third go-round (although Temptation Island 2, unlike The Next Joe Millionaire and Temptation Island 3, was better than the original). Guess we'll never know whether Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay would have ended that string...