What I told the Politico reporter is that we’re witnessing the corporate hijacking of our movement, and of the left more generally. As the article notes, GLAAD wasn’t the only group to oddly weigh in on AT&T;’s irrelevant merger (irrelevant to lgbt rights, at least). Time and again we see our groups taking money from companies and then being less than fierce advocates on an issue involving that company.
And, as I noted, AT&T;’s favorite board member needs to be sent packing. Especially after AT&T; joined other companies in helping to repeal our civil rights in Tennessee, and then when we asked them for help in stopping the hateful legislation from becoming law, AT&T;’s response was lukewarm at best. This company is not our friend, regardless of how well it treats its gay and trans employees. It treated the rest of us like garbage, and now seems to be co-opting our civil rights groups. That’s not what friends are for.
Influential members of the gay community say they believe Barrios’s resignation is a positive for GLAAD, but that the organization may need to further clean house and revisit its advocacy for causes unrelated to gay rights.
“GLAAD certainly has an AT&T; problem that isn’t going to go away when Jarrett leaves,” John Aravosis, editor of AMERICAblog and a leading gay rights advocate, told POLITICO.
Aravosis called for the resignation of another GLAAD board member, Troup Coronado, a former AT&T; official and lobbyist. Coronado’s bio on GLAAD’s website said that from 2008 to 2010 Coronado worked as AT&T;’s vice president for external affairs in Los Angeles. AT&T; had identified Coronado as a lobbyist for the company as recently as 2006, but the company said in its 2008 filing that he was no longer representing AT&T; as a lobbyist.
Coronado is “going to have to pack his bags and get on the same train Jarrett is taking,” Aravosis said.
Coronado could not be reached Sunday.