Grammys Discord: Cable Service Says Dropping 'Same Love' Mass Wedding 'Wasn't Purposeful'

Get More: Awards, Controversy

Grammys Gay Wedding ControversyAT&T’s U-verse digital cable provider scrambled this morning to figure out why some of its subscribers saw Sunday night’s Grammy Awards broadcast drop out just as Queen Latifah teed up a segment that would ultimately marry more than 30 couples, both straight and gay.

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According to dozens of reports (sent to both TVLine’s “Contact Us” email and posted to U-verse’s Facebook page), the affected U-verse subs lost their signal around the time that Latifah introduced a performance of Macklemore & Lewis’ “Same Love,” after which the actress/singer — who was recently deputized by Los Angeles County to conduct wedding ceremonies — officiated the marriage of 33 couples in attendance. The affected viewers reportedly regained their CBS signal only after Madonna concluded the performance/mass wedding celebration by mashing up her hit “Open Your Heart” with “Same Love.”

“How could you censor a Grammy performance? Most of the country is now open-minded, how is it fair that you get to decide what I can and can’t watch that way?” one “very disappointed” subscriber posted on Facebook.

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A customer service representative frantically monitoring U-verse’s Facebook page on Monday morning repeatedly posted this explanation: “We’re working quickly … to figure out exactly what happened. The issue appears to be isolated to the Florida region. We’re truly sorry for the inconvenience and apparent implications of the timing. This definitely wasn’t purposeful. Again, our apologies.”

UPDATE: A spokersperson for AT&T responded to TVLine’s request for comment with the following statement:

Due to a fiber cut [on Sunday] night shortly after 11 pm, some Orlando, Fla., U-verse customers may have experienced a brief disruption of local TV affiliate channels, including CBS. Technicians worked to quickly reroute the impacted video feed and service was restored in about 10 minutes. We apologize for this inconvenience.

A quick survey of the Facebook complainants and those who emailed TVLine would seem to support the claim that the glitch was limited to areas of Florida. Still, the timing at least appears suspect. As one affected subscriber responded to the aforementioned CSR on Facebook, “It seemed VERY deliberate as it cut to black about 30 seconds after Queen Latifah started her introduction.”

Comments (40)

  • Oh how silly. I saw it & have uverse. Things happen technically, it doesn’t always mean there is an ulterior motive.

    Comment by didi – January 27, 2014 11:09 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • and by “saw it” mean that it was not cut off on my television.

      Comment by didi – January 27, 2014 11:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • But do you live in Florida? Did you read the story?

        Comment by Danyelle – January 27, 2014 11:14 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I also have U-verse and saw the whole entire program. Apparently, AT&T decided they didn’t want certain customers in Florida to see it, but they were fine with everybody else watching it… Okay…

      Comment by Lena – January 27, 2014 05:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have U-verse, and while I was able to see the entirety of the Same Love performance, my cable did drop out during Ringo Starr’s performance and came back as soon as he was finished. It sounds like AT&T just had spotty service all around last night

    Comment by Andy – January 27, 2014 11:18 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Of course this was a plot to keep you from experiencing Ringo Starr’s Photograph. Everything’s a plot.

      Comment by Steven – January 27, 2014 11:33 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have u-verse and live in Florida and it played perfectly fine on my end.

    Comment by STanJS – January 27, 2014 11:20 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • We’re not happy unless we have something to whine about. Slow news day, clearly.

    Comment by MrMank – January 27, 2014 11:23 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m glad someone was spared the spectacle. Luckily we started watching late enough that we had fast forward left by that point.

    Comment by Steven – January 27, 2014 11:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I live about two hours south of Orlando and didn’t experience any cut out with U-verse services during the performance. The only cut I noticed was CBS cutting away as a gay couple was about to kiss.

    Comment by Ashley – January 27, 2014 11:36 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How silly on the part of a professional journalist to say the timing is suspect. Sometimes things go out right at the moment you want to see something. My cable was out for both the series finale of Fringe and the season finale of Sleepy Hollow. Does that mean my cable company has something against serialized sci-fi and fantasy?

    Comment by Cynthia – January 27, 2014 11:59 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • It means you need a new cable company!

      Comment by Katherine215 – January 27, 2014 12:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • How silly on the part of a TvLine reader to think we care what you think Cynthia? Yes, glitches happen all the time with tv. But to criticize the writer for not being “professional” and expressing that this was suspect is within his right as a journalist. I am not a journalist and I think this is odd. I am an avid reader of this website and have no issue with what was written because it is, well, Matt’s article. The issue of professionalism shouldn’t be an issue. If something was said about furthering an agenda on either side I would agree with your comment as this can lead to conspiracy theory area or the like. But I think your response was over the top. And maybe I am being a little over the top in my response to your post but this is a fair website when it comes to covering entertainment news. They cover all sides if the industry without leaning toward one way or another. They do a great job and this reader is appreciative of that.

      Comment by Leigh – January 27, 2014 02:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • How silly on the part of us readers to think we care about what you think Leigh… That goes both ways there hero. Learn some tact and stop trying to impress everyone with your kindergarten social tendencies…

        Comment by Bryan Nelson – January 30, 2014 04:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I live in Orlando and experienced the issue, very fishy and someone had to pull the plug and do this on purpose.

    Comment by Tim – January 27, 2014 12:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Oh, no, I don’t think so Tim. Fiber optic lines always spontaneously cut themselves without notice. Because what repair person would have been out that late on a Sunday night maintaining the line?

      Comment by Bob – January 28, 2014 07:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • you have to admit it went out right before the performance and came back as soon as it ended. #thinkwhatyouwant #perfectlyplanned #suchashame

    Comment by Steven Moses – January 27, 2014 12:48 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m gonna assume something is wrong with the comments, so apologies in advance if three copies of my post show up later.

    Comment by TigerNightmare – January 27, 2014 01:40 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Tee-hee-hee :)

    Comment by BJ – January 27, 2014 02:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I wish my cable provider had dropped that crap being force fed on the american public. Would have spared me the trouble of finding my remote to change it myself. That was disgusting … imagine if we had 30 straight couples making out and kissing on tv. not cool to shove those images down our kids throats hollywood.
    while i have no problem with gays and gay weddings and such i’m sick of it being shown on tv almost non-stop in an attempt to make in mainstream. Must every show have a gay character on it now?
    I liked it better when people were in the closet rather than out loud and proud AND ANNOYING as all hell.

    Comment by cj – January 27, 2014 03:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Wasn’t just gay couples yesterday and I saw cameras focus more on the straight than gay ones. What does it matter? Don’t like it DON’T WATCH IT. You weren’t held down and forced to watch it so put on your big girl panties and move on. I for one found it incredibly moving and wish all the couples a happy life together.

      Comment by Ryan – January 27, 2014 03:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I didn’t actually. Like I said got the remote and never came back. So tired of it just being rammed down our throats all the time. I don’t care if people are gay straight or whatever I’m just tired of the agenda.

        Comment by cj – January 27, 2014 06:34 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Gay agenda: be treated equally to all other Americans. That’s terrible!!!

          Comment by Maggie – January 27, 2014 06:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • The real underground Gay Agenda is to make every child who watches these things gay so they don’t reproduce and humanity ends. Then aliens will take over Earth. Anita Bryant told me so.

            Comment by Hannah – January 28, 2014 04:32 AM PDT  
      • Hollywood is headed straight to Hell! When your children show these pathological signs, it won’t be so easy to watch. God forbid the day you have to bury a child with AIDS, because they thought that same sex unions were the hot thing going and a bandwagon to jump on. It’s cute now, but wait until the world sees the real outcome of this unGodly movement.

        Comment by BettyBoop – January 28, 2014 01:21 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I, for one, welcome the day people end their reliance on religious cults and move away from the fairytales of God. Then people can just be good people and treat others well without some scam artist preacher collecting cash from his flock to live a life of tax-free luxury on the backs of his faithful.

          Comment by B – January 28, 2014 10:10 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Hey BettyBoop you dummy…AIDS is an STD. Anyone sexually active can catch it. Not just gay people.

          Comment by Tee – January 28, 2014 10:32 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Gay straight and interracial – all three. And as has been said, every time a camera got close to a non-straight couple the director cut the shot to a straight one. No biggy, but also racist and homophobic. The presentation was representing the emotions behind the song. Nothing more. Queen Latifah performed a “courthouse-style” wedding (legally) while others sang. Nobody knows but Madonna why she was there. Again, no biggy. Why are the extremists on the right making it a biggy?

      Comment by RobD381 – January 27, 2014 05:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • CJ, there are straight couples making out and kissing on tv everywhere you look, being force fed down my throat. FYI, there were straight people there too. I think ignorance should go in the closet and just let everyone be. Everyone would be much happier.

      Comment by Maggie – January 27, 2014 06:39 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • as a straight female I am SO SICK of the straight agenda always being shoved down my throat. all of
      these shows having these straight couples making out on TV. it’s disgusting!

      Comment by Elyse – January 28, 2014 08:34 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Why do these people like madonna always need a cause? I know, it’s to keep there name in the loop and make $$$. Sickening. Who is Madonna to preach anything. I’m going to preach to her to go get herself a college education and stop being a raging slut (oops too late).

    Comment by cj – January 27, 2014 03:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Papa don’t preach.

      Comment by Bob – January 28, 2014 07:44 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Last time I had a fiber cut I had no telephone or cable service for 4 hours – restored in 10 minutes seems suspicious. AT&T is able to “reroute”? News to me, but I’m not in Florida. All internet providers are now able to restrict what you see thanks to Verizon. They can also slow down your downloads or stop them altogether. They will not stop until the FCC is told by you to issue new rules about Freedom on the Internet.

    Comment by RobD381 – January 27, 2014 05:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • overall the show had no continuity, don’t ever put again ll cool j as a presenter (he is a damn good rapper, a very good actor but NO for presenter) , i loled with the 70s daft punk , i cried with the wedding (make queen latifah a presenter) i was like ”what?” with nin-qotsa mix (if you want noiz bring sonic youth). Not bad , not great, hey call neil patrick harris next year!!

    Comment by fatako (@georgethebeast) – January 27, 2014 05:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • anywhere else in the broadcast, I’d believe it was a glitch. But REALLY? Come on.

    Comment by liz – January 27, 2014 09:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I always find it funny that “parents” have issues with sex, nudity, and words that only have meaning because we give them meaning. Yet these same “parents” like <10 year olds play Call of Duty and blow up and kill things on a screen!

    Comment by David4 – January 27, 2014 09:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • David4-that’s because war and killing are seen as having masculine values and therefore are okay to be encouraged in our young boys and gay anything in the mind of the American public as being feminine and therefore must be discouraged, avoided and wiped out if possible. What gets me are the women who subscribe to those values and go willingly along with their husbands.

    Comment by queerbec – January 28, 2014 09:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
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    Comment by SEO – March 22, 2014 06:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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