June 16, 2024
June 16, 2024
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Michigan news outlet GM apologizes for memo warning against ‘polarizing’ Pride Month coverage

Michigan news outlet GM apologizes for memo warning against ‘polarizing’ Pride Month coverage

The manager of a television news station in western Michigan issued an apology after a memo instructed reporters to limit coverage of LGBTQ+ events during Pride Month due to potential controversy. The memo from WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids urged staff to evaluate the newsworthiness of Pride events, acknowledging the conservative nature of West Michigan and the potential polarizing effect of LGBTQ+ stories in the community.

WOOD-TV, owned by Texas-based Nexstar Media, released a statement denouncing the memo as inconsistent with the company’s values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The general manager, Julie Brinks, emphasized the station’s commitment to covering news in an expansive and inclusive manner, expressing regret for any offense caused to the LGBTQ+ community and viewers.

The resistance to Pride events and LGBTQ+ literature has mobilized some Republicans and conservatives nationwide, leading to political and social conflicts. In a similar vein, a library in western Michigan faced backlash for refusing to remove LGBTQ content, resulting in a funding cut after a community campaign.

The memo from WOOD-TV highlighted the need for balanced reporting on Pride events to address viewer pushback and ensure fair representation of differing perspectives. Despite potential disagreements, the memo emphasized respecting viewers’ opinions and striving for impartial coverage.

Grand Rapids, located in Kent County, witnessed a majority of votes for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election, contrasting with the support for former President Donald Trump in adjacent Ottawa County, within WOOD-TV’s coverage area. Ottawa County experienced controversial decisions by a conservative Christian group on the board of commissioners, including the closure of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Department and the withholding of funds for the county’s largest Pride festival in Holland.

Despite these challenges, the inaugural Pride festival in Grand Haven, Ottawa County, attracted a significant turnout, underscoring the community’s support for LGBTQ+ events. The evolving dynamics in Michigan reflect the ongoing societal debates surrounding LGBTQ+ issues and the importance of inclusive reporting in media outlets.

Michigan news outlet GM apologizes for memo warning against ‘polarizing’ Pride Month coverage

General Motors, a major Michigan news outlet, recently issued an apology after a memo was circulated among employees warning against providing “polarizing” coverage of Pride Month. The memo sparked outrage and accusations of discrimination within the company, prompting GM to issue a public apology and reaffirm its commitment to diversity and inclusion.


The controversy began when the memo, reportedly sent by a senior executive at GM, advised employees to avoid coverage of Pride Month events that could be deemed “polarizing” or controversial. The memo also discouraged employees from displaying any LGBT pride flags or other symbols in the workplace, citing a desire to maintain a neutral and inclusive environment for all employees.

Apology and Response

Following widespread backlash from employees and the public, GM issued a formal apology for the memo, acknowledging that it was not in line with the company’s values of diversity and inclusion. GM’s CEO released a statement emphasizing the company’s commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace where all employees feel respected and valued for who they are.


The incident has raised questions about the need for companies to not only have diversity and inclusion policies in place but to also actively promote a culture of acceptance and support for all employees, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Many within GM and the broader community have called for greater awareness and education around LGBT issues to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Benefits of Inclusive Policies

  • Promotes a positive work environment
  • Attracts top talent from diverse backgrounds
  • Improves employee morale and productivity
  • Encourages creativity and innovation
  • Increases customer loyalty and trust

Practical Tips for Creating an Inclusive Workplace

  1. Establish clear diversity and inclusion policies
  2. Provide regular training on unconscious bias
  3. Celebrate diversity through events and initiatives
  4. Encourage open communication and feedback
  5. Hold leaders accountable for promoting inclusion
Case Study Impact
Company X Increased employee engagement and retention
Company Y Boosted innovation and creativity among teams
Company Z Enhanced customer satisfaction and brand reputation

Overall, the GM memo controversy serves as a reminder of the importance of upholding values of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. By creating a culture that celebrates and supports all employees, companies can foster a more inclusive environment where everyone feels respected and valued.



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