Date: 22nd February 2001

Grammy Hugs For Eminem

Wednesday night's Grammy Awards show came off without incident, despite early predictions of massive demonstrations by gay activists against rap performer Eminem.

Demonstrators outside Staples Center in Los Angeles reportedly numbered no more than 100, and the singer, whose performance was shunted to the end of the telecast, appeared to soften some of the lyrics that had outraged his detractors. At the end of the performance, Elton John, who sang the chorus of the song and who is openly gay, gave the rapper a hug, then lifted his arm in victory.

CBS, clearly mindful of the controversy, ran two public-service spots about domestic violence during the telecast and one spot featuring Judy Shepard, mother of the gay Wyoming student Matthew Shepard who was murdered in 1998. Today's (Thursday) New York Post reported that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) requested the Shepard spot "as a means to balance out the anti-gay lyrics of Grammy performer Eminem."

Source: Studio Briefing