Girls' Film Program Temporarily Defunded Over Tweet

A single tweet from Reel Grrls, and Comcast's response to it, caused a lot of trouble this week.

The Seattle-based ReelGrrls conducts media production camps for girls from "diverse communities," and had received a grant from Comcast for one such program. That didn't prevent someone there from tweeting this:

Illustration for article titled Girls Film Program Temporarily Defunded Over Tweet

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Comcast took issue not with the use of "OMG" but with the content, referring to its recent hiring of the FCC's Margaret Baker, who did in fact vote to approve the merger with NBCUniversal over critics' concerns of media consolidation.

ReelGrrls soon heard from a Comcast official:

"Given the fact that Comcast has been a major supporter of Reel Grrls for several years now, I am frankly shocked that your organization is slamming us on Twitter. I cannot in good conscience continue to provide you with funding - especially when there are so many other deserving nonprofits in town."

Media-savvy ReelGrrls promptly spread word of the email, and Comcast hastily suggested that that executive had been out of line and no funding was being yanked. The video above, of ReelGrrls summer program beneficiaries, doesn't make Comcast look any better. It's not clear whether ReelGrrls will accept the restored funds.

Comcast Yanks Funds For Nonprofit After Tweet About FCC Baker's Jump [WP]
ReelGrrls [Official Site]

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Kat Callahan

Hmm... so let's see, this is funding for a program that allows girls from "diverse communities" to explore their freedom of expression, and when there is a merest suggestion that it might be newsworthy to look into an FCC executive moving over to a major company the FCC is responsible for overseeing, the major company pulls the funding? And then backtracks when they're called out on it?

Way to prove that devotion to the First Amendment and the need for a Free Press there, Comcast.