AT&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.
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.
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.”