Chances are most LGBT people in America weren’t watching Fox News yesterday, so you might have missed a perhaps curious phenomenon, as a number of notable Fox personalities donned purple on Spirit Day.
Spirit Day, a quasi-formal yearly observation started by a Canadian teenager in 2010, honors the victims of anti-gay bullying by encouraging participants to wear purple in solidarity. GLAAD endorses Spirit Day, as do most LGBT media outlets. Now Fox News appears to be getting in the spirit of the season as well: Fox hosts Heather Childers and Ainsley Earhardt wore purple on yesterday’s broadcast, as did Lauren Simonetti and Gerri Willis. Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney sported a purple tie.
The 24-hour news network popular with conservative viewers does not always enjoy a reputation as a friend to the LGBT community. GLAAD frequently chides Fox for alleged transphobic attitudes, like when host Gregg Jarrett joked about a transgender “America’s Next Top Model” contestant by dubbing the show “America’s Next Top Tranny.” The channel also employs some commenters noted for homophobic sentiments, such as Redstate.com founder Erick Erickson, who has compared gay-rights advocates to Nazis, and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who compared same-sex marriage to drug addiction. But there was a whole lot of purple on display October 17 anyway.
The network didn’t respond to requests for comment, but bloggers have noted the same trend on Spirit Day 2012, when more than a half dozen Fox personalities were spotted wearing purple. Even Mike Huckabee had a purple tie (Huckabee has previously been vocal about the dangers of bullying). So are Fox’s lavender tones a subtle mea culpa by some contributors or just a cosmic coincidence?
Well, we report, you decide.