Often the target of conservative and religious criticism for its portrayal of openly gay high school students, musical dramedy "Glee" sparked rightwing rage once again Tuesday night for its special 90-minute gay-themed episode. And it should be of no surprise that Lady Gaga was at the center of the alleged controversy.
The episode featured Kurt, played by Golden Globe winner Chris Colfer, returning to his old school and receiving an apology from a closeted gay football player who had bullied him. Celebrating acceptance, the show's cast sings Lady Gaga's gay pride anthem "Born This Way," and all seems well at McKinley High once again (relatively speaking). But it's that coming together that has conservatives once again upset with the show.
Hitting out at show creator Ryan Murphy, conservative media critic Dan Gainor told ABC News that it was his "latest depraved initiative to promote his gay agenda."
"This is clearly Ryan Murphy's vision of what growing up should be, not most of America's," he said. "It's a high school most parents would not want to send their kids to."
Gainor has been critical of the show before; in October, after an episode that involved two cheerleaders making out on a bed, he called "Glee" "a disgusting gay teen sex romp."
Murphy, Gainor surmised to HollywoodLife.com, "spends his days fantasizing about teen girls 'scissoring' on the bed in what the media tell us is a family-friendly show."
After a March episode in which Colfer's Kurt kisses Blaine, another gay character, and Kathy Griffin made a guest appearance as a Sarah Palin-type Tea Party candidate, former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Victoria Jackson slammed the show in a column for WorldNetDaily.
"Did you see 'Glee' this week? Sickening!" Jackson wrote. "And, besides shoving the gay thing down our throats, they made a mockery of Christians - again! I wonder what their agenda is? Hey, producers of 'Glee' - what's your agenda? One-way tolerance?"
A few nights later, on an appearance on Headline News' "Showbiz Tonight," Jackson used the Bible as a defense of her criticism.
"What matters is what the Bible says," Jackson offered. "And I'm really concerned about our country because immorality is, well, let's see: secular humanism rules the airwaves, and it's stealing the innocence away from this whole generation of children. My daughter is a teenager and I cant find any show that she can watch."
Another conservative, Larry O'Connor, wrote a column for Andrew Breitbart's BigHollywood that was critical not so much of the show's use of gay characters but Griffin's depiction of conservatives.
"So in this episode of 'Glee' the writers have pretty much come full circle in their bigotry and intolerance," O'Connor wrote. "They did to us exactly what they feel has been done to gay people on television for years: provided a false and stereotypical character meant to convey a negative image and message to the viewer. There's a word for that: Defamation (for those of you paying attention, Defamation is what the 'D' in GLAAD stands for)."
"Glee" shared the Outstanding Comedy Series trophy at the recent GLAAD Awards with another gay-friendly show, ABC's "Modern Family."
The use of Lady Gaga's song also may have piqued right wing anger; the singer's newest single, "Judas," has been targeted by religious groups who say its lyrics and upcoming music video are blasphemous. Gaga has publicly disagreed with those charges.