“A Victory for Common Sense” – Second Circuit Upholds LGBT Employee Rights

by Stuart Winchester, Viacom

In a victory for equality in the workplace, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit this morning held that the Civil Rights Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment. This ruling legally affirms the sentiment behind a petition that Viacom and 49 other major companies signed last summer.

“This ruling affirms the strong stand we have taken at Viacom – that there is no room in the workplace for discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation,” said Viacom Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs Rick Baker. “This is a victory for equality, for the LGBT community, for businesses at large, and for common sense.”

The Second Circuit’s conclusion that Altitude Express, a skydiving company, unjustly fired a former instructor when it learned of his sexual orientation echoes a 2017 decision by the Seventh Circuit, which concluded that a community college in Indiana had wrongfully terminated a teacher because she was a lesbian.

Viacom will continue to join Freedom for All Americans, a bipartisan group that the company worked with on its petition, to monitor legal developments around the issue of LGBT rights in the workplace.

Petals, Pizzazz and Politics—How the Season Finale of RuPaul’s Drag Race Sashayed to the Mainstream

A 29-year-old drag queen from Brooklyn, New York known as Sasha Velour is lip syncing to Whitney Houston’s So Emotional. She’s gliding across the stage; a graceful avant-garde, bald ballerina.

Arms clad in opera-length bronze gloves, Velour vogues alongside fellow queen Shea Couleé, sauntering her hips and moving her lips soundlessly. Then, she craned her neck and began tugging at her wig. Pantomiming a seizure, she grabbed each scarlet lock to unleash a cascade of rose petals—just as Houston’s ballad reached its dénouement.

Watch the performance:

It was the season 9 finale of VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race. Nearly 9 million people watched as Velour won the coveted title of America’s Next Drag Superstar, making Drag Race history for the most-watched finale. It was, in the eternal words of Whitney Houston, “So emotional.”

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The Loud House is Loud and Proud

Like many other kids growing up in the 90s, I loved watching Nickelodeon. No one ever offered such unfiltered and hilarious content for kids like Nick. And Nickelodeon gave us everything, just for us: Kids’ game shows with Double Dare and Figure It Out; Nickelodeon sketch comedy with All That; the news on Nick News; and our very own awards show, Kids’ Choice, where we actually got to vote for our favorite stars.

Nickelodeon’s commitment to diversity, to being for all kids, has been a major part of the brand since day one. And they took yet another step forward recently with the new animated series, The Loud House. The Loud House is about a 10-year-old boy, Lincoln Loud, who grows up in a house with 10 sisters (and only one bathroom). It’s a classic Nickelodeon setup: a chaotic nuclear family and a protagonist who only adds to the hijinks with help from his best friend, Clyde McBride.

TheLoudHouse

The Loud House is mixing things up on Nickelodeon. Photo courtesy of Nick.com.

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