PFLAG Cancels Award After Joy Reid Blames Homophobic Posts on Hackers

· Updated on May 29, 2018

It just keeps getting worse for Joy Reid.

The MSNBC weekend host was set to receive the Straight for Equality in Media award from PFLAG next month. The national LGBTQ advocacy group, however, rescinded her invitation to its 45th anniversary gala after a series of blog posts resurfaced in which Reid referred to same-sex intimacy as “gross” and claimed, “most straight people cringe at the sight of two men kissing.”

Using The Wayback Machine, Twitter user @Jamie_Maz unearthed a surfeit of alarming comments about queer and trans people posted to her now-defunct blog between the years of 2007 and 2009.

During this time, Reid claimed it was “intrinsic” for heterosexuals to be repulsed by gay sex, saying she didn’t watch the gay cowboy love story Brokeback Mountain because she “didn’t want to watch the two male characters having sex.” Then a columnist for the Miami Herald, she noted that her opinions “probably” made her “homophobic” but appeared to shrug off the revelation.

Reid also claimed former SCOTUS nominee Harriet Miers had “lesbian hair and alleged fellow TV host Keith Olbermann should “defend [his] honor” after rumors circulated that the liberal talking head was gay.

Unfortunately for Reid, it doesn’t end there.

The commentator claimed gay men “tend to be attracted to very young, post-pubescent types, bringing them ‘into the lifestyle’ in a way that many people consider to be immoral,” further likening them to sexual predators who seek out “impressionable teens” to target for abuse.

On the subject of having LGBTQ children, Reid wondered whether it was possible to “manipulate the genes of your unborn child” to make them straight.

Her “coup de grâce,” though, was a posting outing several high-profile celebrities, including then-closeted Clay Aiken and Anderson Cooper. Counting down the “totally not gay celebrities” of 2006, Reid also included famous BFFs Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King, as well as Tom Cruise.

On the subject of Winfrey and King’s close friendship, she remarked, “Oprah lent her some underwear once what girl hasn’t?” Reid added that with Cruise, who had recently wed Katie Holmes, the honeymoon was “optional.”

Although PFLAG claimed the organization was aware of other comments referring to former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (who is widely rumored to be gay) as “Miss Charlie,” the group decided that yet another anti-LGBTQ controversy from the progressive-leaning anchor was a dealbreaker.

“We appreciated how she stepped up, took ownership, apologized for them, and did betterthis is the behavior and approach we ask of any ally,” said PFLAG National President Jean Hodges of her previous controversy.

But Hodges said in a statement the organization is obligated to “rescind [its] award to Ms. Reid” following the reveal of “new information.”

Although Reid took responsibility for the posts mocking Crist’s perceived sexual orientation, the pundit denied writing the new batch of comments. Instead, she told Mediaite that she was hacked.

“In December I learned that an unknown, external party accessed and manipulated material from my now-defunct blog, The Reid Report, to include offensive and hateful references that are fabricated and run counter to my personal beliefs and ideology,” she said in a statement.

“I began working with a cyber-security expert who first identified the unauthorized activity, and we notified federal law enforcement officials of the breach,” Reid continued. “The manipulated material seems to be part of an effort to taint my character with false information by distorting a blog that ended a decade ago. Now that the site has been compromised, I can state unequivocally that it does not represent the original entries.”

The host concluded by wagging the finger at her alleged hackers.

“I hope that whoever corrupted the site recognizes the pain they have caused, not just to me, but to my family and communities that I care deeply about: LGBTQ, immigrants, people of color and other marginalized groups,” she said.

The Wayback Machine, however, denied accusations that archives of her comments had been tampered with. In a blog post, the website said that it “found nothing to indicate tampering or hacking of the Wayback Machine versions” when Reid’s attorneys reached out asking the posts to be removed.

“At least some of the examples of allegedly fraudulent posts provided to us had been archived at different dates and by different entities,” the site claimed.

“Consequently, and due to Reid’s being a journalist (a very high-profile one, at that) and the journalistic nature of the blog archives, we declined to take down the archives,” it continued. “We were clear that we would welcome and consider any further information that they could provide us to support their claims.”

Her legal team was unable to provide documentation backing up the allegations.

In a telling piece published on The Intercept, journalist Glenn Greenwald interviewed cybersecurity expert Jeffrey Carr about Reid’s claims of being framed by hackers. While he admitted that it’s possible, Carr suggested the scenario is highly unlikely.

“I’ve never heard of that happening but it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen, I guess,” he said.

Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

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