Mommybloggers Angry at Harry Connick Jr.'s Sexist and Homophobic Performance
02-13-10- Musician Harry Connick Jr. performed for bloggers at the recent BlissDom social media conference, but his off-the-cuff remarks and jokes left bloggers angry and insulted.
Blogger Deb Rox published "An Open Letter to Harry Connick Jr." on her blog, Deb on the Rocks, calling out his homophobia and giving him advice. The blog post features a video clip of his remarks.
The controversy stems from Connick saying he was afraid the bloggers would "be rough looking, wearing crew cuts, suspenders and flannel shirts," with Connick joking he was relieved he wasn't singing for women loggers. Other offensive jokes included talking about cheating on his wife and mentioning how easy the bloggers were to impress.
Critics of his performance say that disparaging how women work or what they wear is insulting, and that his comments are sexist, classist and homophobic.
Rox, who is a lesbian mother and social media professional, wrote that while unhappy with his banter, she ultimately appreciated the chance to talk about homophobia with the other bloggers in attendance, most of whom are straight. She said to Connick: "Now, ultimately I thank you for your rudeness, because you paved the way for me, my girlfriend and others to have quite a few consciousness-raising conversations that night and the next day with people who said after thinking about it, they wouldn't have laughed along, wouldn't have wanted their children to laugh along, just as they wouldn't if you had made a racist or ethnic slur."
She said, "Conversations like that are awesome, to see people get it, to see mothers imagine that their daughters were being dismissed and start to understand the damage of judgment based on gender and sexual oppression -- if not for themselves, at least for their children."
Comments to her post include further condemnations of Connick's words and pledges from those who did not take notice to think about the impact of homophobia.
Connick attended the BlissDom event for women bloggers to promote his Musician's Village project in New Orleans, where he is leading a neighborhood and music center building project.
BlissDom is held annually in Nashville, Tennessee.
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