AgencySpy LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy FishbowlNY FishbowlDC GalleyCat SocialTimes

Posts Tagged ‘Boy Scouts of America’

Disney Breaks with Boy Scouts Over Gay Ban

boy_scouts-300x198In another sign that anti-gay policies can lead to bad press for brands and organizations, Disney has decided to withdraw all funding from the Boy Scouts of America over the org’s policy prohibiting openly gay men from holding leadership positions.

If you’ll remember, the Scouts took half steps to resolve the issue in 2012 after businesses like Intel and UPS pulled their sponsorships due to its policies; the org now officially welcomes openly gay scouts but not scout leaders.

The group’s National Council reached out to Disney after the company made clear that its policies violated internal standards, but it seems the decision had already been made.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Will Boy Scouts End Longtime Gay Ban?

Boy Scouts of AmericaToday NBC News reports that leaders within the Boy Scouts of America are “close to ending” the organization’s longtime ban on openly gay members and leaders. Individuals close to the group acknowledge that they are “actively considering an end” to the formal ban and moving to allow local troops to decide on their own whether they want to admit gay and lesbian scouts and scoutmasters.

This would be a major change for an organization that built its reputation on traditionalism. And it would certainly prove controversial within the larger scouting community, which was rocked by the BSA’s poor response to its own child abuse scandal in 2012.

It would also go against recent developments. The BSA re-affirmed the ban last July, and just this weekend a local Cub Scouts pack revised gay-friendly language on its website under pressure from the larger organization.

The theory for this new approach holds that certain local factions would be free to continue banning gay members, thereby giving families the power to choose the groups that best represent their belief sets. While many continue to protest the BSA’s exclusion of openly gay individuals, we have no doubt that some longtime supporters would not be happy to see the ban end (which explains leaders’ clear desire for a “flexible” solution).

Public opinion has shifted decisively in favor of gay marriage, and our country now has more openly gay people in positions of power than ever before. The Boy Scouts will have to change at some point unless the group wants its membership to decline dramatically. But how can the organization most effectively adjust to this societal shift?

Intel, UPS Pull Boy Scouts Funding Over Anti-Gay Policy

Boy Scouts of AmericaThe Boy Scouts of America is a very traditional organization. Despite the apparent hypocrisy of forbidding membership to gay men while battling a PR disaster over decades of child abuse cases effectively swept under the rug, we can’t imagine the Scouts revising their no-gay policies anytime soon.

Still, the group finds itself in the news again this week in a bad way: Intel and UPS released statements announcing their plans to refrain from giving donations to the Scouts organization as long as it maintains its old-fashioned resistance to reality. And this isn’t small potatoes: the two companies gave more than $300,000 to the Scouts organization in 2010 alone.

We can understand the BSA’s position and the appeal of traditionalism: a decision to abandon the anti-gay plank would probably lead to a serious schism among its biggest fans. And we shouldn’t forget that the Boy Scouts is in most ways an exemplary organization that provides assistance to thousands of Americans every year. But this is an emotional issue for many people. See, for example, this tumblr page featuring onetime Eagle Scouts who decided to return their badges in protest.

We wonder: at what point does intransigence no longer benefit the Boy Scouts? When will they have no choice but to adapt? And how should they go about it?

Massive PR Fail: Boy Scouts Hid Reports of Child Abuse

Looks like the Boy Scouts of America has a huge PR headache on its hands thanks to the investigative powers of the Los Angeles Times. While the group remains committed to excluding gay men from its ranks, its doesn’t seem to know how to deal with accused child molesters. We would advise leaders to turn to the Catholic Church for advice on what not to do over the coming weeks and months, but after reading the Times report we feel like they’ve already got that covered.

The Times accessed files stretching from the 70’s to the 90’s and uncovered a very disturbing trend in which the BSA’s PR interests clearly took precedence over its responsibility for the kids in its care. Hundreds of child abuse accusations were shelved, ignored or covered up. The story, first uncovered in August, will only get worse.

In 500 cases, officials learned of alleged abuses from staffers, parents, anonymous tipsters or the boys themselves before they were relayed to law enforcement authorities. 400 of these cases were never reported at all—and members of the Boy Scouts of America “actively sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it” in at least 100 of them. Why? To “protect the reputation of the Scouts”, of course. That didn’t work so well, though: At least 50 men were expelled for alleged abuse only to return to scouting and face further charges of improper sexual activity.

This is very bad–to say the least. So how did it happen?

Read more

Boy Scouts Reconfirms Stance on Excluding Gays

In 2010 the Boy Scouts of America began a confidential review process to explore its policy on banning gays from joining the organization. Two years later the Boy Scouts has decided not to make any changes regarding the matter, which will certainly refocus the public’s attention on the issue, which has polarized the community if not the nation.

The Boy Scouts of America, as a brand, exemplifies all-American values which includes being—among other attributes—loyal, trustworthy, helpful, kind, courteous, brave and reverent. The obvious PR challenges that the Boy Scouts faces is that many perceive the organization’s exclusionary practices as antithetical to its promise to the rest of humanity.

The Boy Scouts, of course, has historically enjoyed strong public relations with the American people and the international community. Will this continuing controversy, however, lead to an erosion in public support, or strengthen it? What is your professional analysis?