The Board of Directors of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) on Thursday, officially — and finally — announced what LGBT media had been reporting since Saturday, that President Jarrett Barrios has resigned.
In his resignation letter, Barrios said he has “been pained by the difficulties that have beset GLAAD over the last three weeks.”
As you know, they concern GLAAD’s endorsement of the AT&T / T-Mobile merger — and inaccurate but effective characterizations that suggest GLAAD has supported this merger because of our relationship with them as a corporate sponsor.
As many of you have observed to me, this entire situation is wrought with miscommunication and assumptions. Be that as it may, I respect the function and responsibility of my position, and know this is the right course of action.
POLITICO’s Eliza Krigman reported recently that GLAAD was among a number of progressive groups with no obvious institutional interest in telecom issues who received money from AT&T and subsequently issued public statements supporting AT&T’s merger with T-Mobile.
Another letter was sent from GLAAD to the FCC opposing possible net neutrality rules. GLAAD later rescinded the letter, claiming it was sent in error. Eventually, Barrios admitted he had sent the letter.
GLAAD said it had been “inaccurately reported that GLAAD endorses AT&T’s position on net neutrality.”
GLAAD’s board also acknowledged that earlier this week, it accepted the resignation of several members — Gary Bitner, Jocelyn Bramble, Kelly Dermody, Humberto Mata, Michael Nutt, James Walker and Randi Weingarten — and that on Wednesday, the Board also accepted the resignation of member Troup Coronado.
Coronado previously worked for the right-wing, anti-gay Heritage Foundation, and was once an executive at AT&T, as well as a lobbyist for AT&T’s former parent company, BellSouth.
Coronado left his position at AT&T late last year to launch a consultant firm — where it is alleged one of his most prominent clients is AT&T. The company reportedly tasked Coronado with securing LGBT organizational support for the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.