Alex Blaze

Ricky Martin and Target: Life in the Corporatocracy

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 24, 2011 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: donation plea, lady gaga, LGBT, ricky martin, Target

Target had a big store manager meeting, and the corporation was able to get some stars to Rima+Fakih+Target+Ricky+Martin+Celebrate+Launch+eqbWQkkyf1Tl.jpgshow up:

Other stars who do have deals with Target did perform for several thousand store managers on Tuesday.

Our spies report that Ricky Martin and Jennifer Hudson have rocked the day-long meeting thus far.

At last August's meeting, Taylor Swift, John Legend, Keith Urban and Enrique Iglesias entertained 10,000 Big Red managers.

Wow, those are some big names. Remind me again why Target donated to a political campaign whose guiding philosophy was that lower taxes are needed for corporations to even keep their doors open in the state and that those tax breaks had to come at the expense of schools and low-income housing? If anything, it seems like these people could be paying more in taxes.

But it's interesting that Ricky Martin was there. He was someplace else this weekend:

Last Saturday, March 19, GLAAD honored singer Ricky Martin and music mogul Russell Simmoms at the Annual GLAAD Media Awards in New York (see press releases in English and in Spanish). GLAAD Awards will be presented in Los Angeles at The Westin Bonaventure Hotel on Sunday, April 10, and in San Francisco at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis on Saturday, May 14, as well.

Karen has a long video of Craig Zadan's introduction of Ricky Martin at the GLAAD awards, and Zaden outlines why Martin won: he's hot, he's charming, he came out, he had a successful album last year, he wrote an autobiography entitled Me (yup, no ego there), and he's done some very fashionable charity work.

Look, I know these awards are there to get a big star to show up so then a nonprofit corporation like GLAAD can fundraise a bit. I'm not criticizing the fact that Ricky Martin got this award - the schmoozy side of show biz isn't going to die without me.

But what does get me is that Martin's being held up as some kind of gay icon not just while he gave an exclusive deal to Target, which still hasn't said that it would screen the campaigns it donates to for their positions on LGBT issues much less get out of politics altogether, to distribute his album in February, but because he's willing to make deals like that with corporations that will do everything in their power to make our lives shit if they think they can make a buck off it.

I say "because" instead of "while" because there is a direct cause-and-effect relationship here. If Martin were unwilling to compromise his values and not work with soulless corporations, we wouldn't even know he exists at this point. Sure, celebrities like him and Lady Gaga can control some of the material damage their privilege exerts on the rest of us by shunning the most egregious corporations, but they really can't just give them all up and still have the visibility necessary to get honored by nonprofit corporations like GLAAD for their visibility.

The issue is that this all causes confusion and makes people mix up substance and style. Of course I love the fact that someone so famous, especially in latino communities, like Ricky Martin came out, but what about the fact that corporate media also actively works to keep stars in the closet? Why can't we have a more diverse media landscape that would allow for more difference, generally, which would include more difference when it came to sexuality as well?

Anyway, I don't see why, after helping homophobes raise major cash while being honored for being so great to the rest of us, Martin had to go and suck some Target cock.

img src , h/t to all the people who made me aware of Ricky Martin's deal with Target after my last few posts on Lady Gaga, and the first link was via Pink News

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You might not want to criticize GLAAD for wasting time and tax-deductible donations on ludicrous fluff like giving awards to rich, good-looking celebrities, but I sure do. Does GLAAD do anything besides give out awards to celebrities? Maybe GLAAD should focus on its mission and honor the people actually doing the hard work of making the media more accessible and responsive to gays and lesbians, and stop all the ass-kissing. I'd rather hear about an activist in St. Louis fighting the good fight than Ricky Martin any day.

yeah, but who would show up and donate if they gave a big award to some po-dunk activist? Ya gotta keep your eyes on the prize.

David Campbell | March 24, 2011 4:30 PM

Agreed. Agreed. Agreed.

I would like to say, in fairness, that Target's contributions to the 'wrong team' only came to light at the end of July last year. I can't really fault those who performed in August as there was still a lot of confusion; Target apologized, etc.

Still, knowing what we know now and Ricky coming out AND then getting a GLAAD Award, I think Ricky needs to openly address the relationship with Target.

If he ignores it, he's complicit in Target's politics.

Perhaps it's time to boycott the celebs who contract with corporations that do us harm. I can safely say, until this is resolved, I'm not shopping at Target and I'm not buying Ricky Martin merchandise (I don't care how many cocks he sucks).

Buy from local record stores (if any still exist in your area) and avoid corporate music is all I'll say. Target is just one of the few corporations that got caught and Ricky Martin is just one of the few stars that got caught. They all have skeletons in the closet since they can't actually care and win in that world.

Remember Elton singing for Rush Limbaugh's birthday? Ew.

and by "birthday" I mean "wedding." Double ew because that becomes a celebration of heterosexuality, specifically Rush Limbaugh's heterosexuality.

Rick Sutton | March 24, 2011 5:01 PM

I have modest expectations of GLAAD. I've read their mission statement, and goals: call out discrimination where it exists. OK. Here's where they failed to meet those expectations:

Two years ago, Miami vs. Boston, NBA Playoffs. Miami fans razzing Boston star Kevin Garnett (KMart). He's angry because he's not getting his usual calls...he's a fabulous athlete, but in the surreal world of NBA officiating, the stars get their props via officials' whistles. Or lack thereof. (This is for Bil: Defense vs. offense....dammit Bil, pay attention!)

After one particularly difficult play, when he was being very closely guarded, a foul was finally called. Miami fans sitting courtside razzed him as he walked back to the huddle for a TV timeout. These fans were probably drunk, probably out of line, and they were, uh....colorful.

Clear as day, Garnett turned to them, on camera, and shouted: "fucking faggots!" You could read his lips perfectly.

The TV network showed it. Again and again. With no shame.

I wrote and called GLAAD, the NBA and the Celtics. Not a peep.

I didn't expect much from the NBA or the Celtics. But given GLAAD's mission, I stuck with GLAAD...called a lot over a month's time. Nothing. The offending comment was available on tape. I left messages and emailed a half dozen folks. Zippo.

Evidently GLAAD thinks 6-11 hateful a--holes are exempt from their wrath.

Fair enough. At least we know where they stand.

So, their pronouncements mean **squat** to me. Awards, press releases, appeals for money--all nonsense.

GLAAD Schmad.

I don't remember ever hearing about that incident. Did you email GLAAD about it? I wouldn't be surprised if no one there watches pro sports.

Paige Listerud | March 24, 2011 6:53 PM

Honestly, I think he should give his gay card back.

I already pointed out the raging hypocrisy exhibited by the gay community by bashing Gaga for her Target deal while giving Martin a pass on his deal, and no one really responded. I don't expect anyone to respond now either.

I suppose we can just retreat to the newest Animal Farm: "Gay dudes good, bi women bad! Gay dudes good, bi women bad!"

Exactly. I criticized Ricky Martin because I never criticize gay dudes. Or something.

Plus gay dudes are totally the most privileged people in the world, uniformly because intersectionality doesn't exist. I'll remember that the next time I get kicked out of a hotel/job/restaurant for being gay - at least I have my all my Mercedeseses!

Ricky Martin performed at the presidential inauguration of George W Bush! He's always been willing to suck up to bigots in the interest of self promotion.

Did Ricky Martin come out when it mattered? i.e. when Prop 8 was being voted on (and where he could have used his influence in persuading the Latino community to vote for equality).

Oh no - he came out solely as a tool to promote his book.

He disgusts me.

That was the first thing I thought of too - the inaugurational performance.

Mikefromoakville | March 24, 2011 10:11 PM

Very passionate article, Alex, But honestly, do you really need to include that last line? Do you really think the people whom you want to get this message out to are going to respect, let alone remember, what you said when the last thought you leave them with is a juvenile attempt at shock? Grow up dude, you're much better than that.

I don't get it. Yes someone at Target needs to be paying attention to donations and community support, something Target actually does.

They have made their case and moved on.

Why are we still on this, Wal-Mart, the worst among many,contribute nothing
unless they are sued by individual states for labor violations and blatant abuse of women...
42states now have accepted settlements.

Try being Gay at a Wal-Mart and see how fast you move up the ladder of success.