2020 Values Report
Stonewall at 50: Celebrating a Significant Milestone in LGBTQ History
The men and women who fought back against a police raid on a gay nightclub in New York City‘s Greenwich Village didn‘t anticipate their actions would lead to a civil rights movement. But the uprising at the Stonewall Inn in the early hours of June 28, 1969, galvanized a revolution to secure equality for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community in the U.S.
To honor the 50th anniversary of the start of that movement — and to continue advancing its cause — Comcast NBCUniversal harnessed the power and reach of our media and storytelling platforms to educate audiences about this landmark event. Our Nightly News Films and our LGBTQ digital platform, NBC Out, produced a four-part digital documentary series, Stonewall 50: The Revolution, covering the pre- and post-Stonewall movement for equality, the six-day Stonewall riot, and modern-day Pride celebrations. We believe it is important to explain the significance of Stonewall and showcase the progress made, as well as the ongoing struggles that inform the work still ahead.
A documentary series on the historic 1969 Stonewall uprising and the past, present, and future of the LGBTQ rights movement.
“NBC is the home for dynamic content and storytelling, and Stonewall 50 is an extension of that,” says Yvette Miley, Senior Vice President of MSNBC and NBC News. “We are proud and honored to champion such a significant moment in history.”
Despite advancements in LGBTQ rights in recent years, the challenges for the community continue. “Equality is not a fixed position on a map,” Miley explains. “Some people may think the LGBTQ rights journey is done and the struggle is over, but it isn‘t. Our job is to continuously educate.”
Equality is not a fixed position on a map. Some people may think the LGBTQ rights journey is done and the struggle is over, but it isn’t. Our job is to continuously educate.
To spread the word about the docu-series, Comcast NBCUniversal held public screenings and panel discussions with writer and producer Sekiya Dorsett and LGBTQ leaders like Mark Segal, who was 18 years old when he joined the Stonewall riots.
“I would have never dreamed 50 years ago that I‘d be advising a media company that not only celebrates its LGBTQ employees day after day but also makes LGBTQ equality a centerpiece of its platforms,” says Segal, a member of Comcast NBCUniversal‘s external Joint Diversity Advisory Council.
In conjunction with the docu-series release, Comcast NBCUniversal became the first company to sponsor the development of a National LGBTQ Digital Archive Hub. Our contribution is helping to digitize important materials that document LGBTQ history in America, ensuring that current and future generations understand the significant progress the LGBTQ community has made toward equality, while still knowing there remains work to be done.
“It’s extremely rare to see a corporation not only invest in an LGBTQ organization, but also invest to this extent in something that will have a national impact,” says Jennifer C. Gregg, Executive Director of the ONE Archives Foundation, which is partnering with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on the initiative.
The release of the docu-series and the launch of the Digital Archive Hub were cornerstones of our 2019 Pride Month celebrations. Comcast also added 1,200 hours of Xfinity Video programming through the LGBTQ Film & TV collection, a first-of-its-kind grouping of diverse, community-endorsed content. In addition, MSNBC aired the primetime documentary Rebellion! Stonewall.
Across our company, we honor the contributions of the LGBTQ community and support the many employees who participated in Pride parades across the country and shared personal moments of impact.
Meagan Fitzgerald can attest to just how much things have changed. A news anchor at NBC4 Washington, an NBC-owned-and-operated television station in Washington D.C., Fitzgerald announced her engagement to her girlfriend on the air, using her platform to share a message of encouragement, especially for LGBTQ youth. “It takes courage to be your true, authentic self, no matter who you are,” she told viewers at the start of 2019 Pride Month.
Fitzgerald‘s heartfelt and genuine announcement caught the attention of many, including those at the U.S. State Department, the Washington Mystics, and the U.S. Small Business Administration, all of which asked her to participate in their organizations‘ Pride festivities.
She later added on social media: “Overwhelmed by the love and support and so very grateful to work for @nbcwashington @NBCNews — a company that embraces and celebrates diversity and inclusion.”