Comic Stripped p.14

By: DOROTHY GIOBBE AN OPENLY GAY editor for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has been reassigned after his superiors ruled that the subject matter of his freelance work for a gay newspaper was "inappropriate."
For the past six years, Todd Camp served as the graphics editor for Class Acts, the weekly children's section of the Star-Telegram. Camp also did freelance work for the Texas Triangle, a 15,000-circulation gay and lesbian weekly based in Austin.
About a year ago, Camp contributed two satirical cartoons to the Triangle, one dealing with incest, and the other making reference to the North American Man/Boy Love Association, or NAMBLA, an organization which favors the repeal of age of consent laws, and supports sexual relationships between men and boys.
After recently receiving a complaint about the cartoons from a reader, Star-Telegram executive editor Debbie Price reassigned Camp from Class Acts to the features section of the Star-Telegram, where he currently writes arts reviews.
The reference to NAMBLA in Camp's cartoon, Price said, led to the decision to move him from the children's section.
In a written reponse to the letter writer, Price said: "While we were aware that Mr. Camp was freelancing for the Texas Triangle, we were not monitoring his work and were not aware of the content of his cartoons. This was a serious oversight on our part."
Camp believes the point of his cartoons was misinterpreted and that he was targeted by a conservative group, the American Family Association of Texas.
"Any time you do work on a subject matter that makes people uncomfortable, you run the risk of being misinterpreted," Camp said. "Whenever you address that kind of topic, you run the risk of being accused of promoting it.
"I don't support NAMBLA; nobody in their right mind supports NAMBLA," he added.
The AFA has taken credit for having Camp removed from work on Class Acts, and has linked the letter writer to the group. But Price denies being pressured by the AFA.
"The Triangle stuff was mailed to us by a reader," she said. "The AFA was not involved with this at all."
Price also insisted that Camp's sexuality was not the issue.
"This whole thing has been turned into a battle over gay rights, but it has nothing to do with that," she insisted. "His sexual orientation has absolutely nothing to do with it.
"Everybody's freelance work has to be screened to make sure it isn't a conflict for the newspaper," Price added. "It was the freelance work that created a clear conflict with Todd's responsibilities at Class Acts."
Camp says that the situation is more complex than many press accounts to date have positioned it.
"A lot of the gay press has taken the tack that Todd got fired because he was gay, but it's nowhere near that simple," Camp said. "It's also nowhere near as simple as what the AFA is saying ? 'we got Todd moved because he's a fag.' "
Openly gay graphics editor reassigned after boss decides
subject matter of his freelance work was 'inappropriate'
?(This cartoon led to the reassignment of Fort Worth Star-Telegram graphics editor Todd Camp.) [Photo & Caption]


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