"The Sing Off" Goes Flat: Edits LGBTQ References Out

The Sing Off winners Pentatonix

Monday night on NBC’s singing competition series The Sing-Off affable host Nick Lachey named as third season winners the a cappella group Pentatonix. But not before the producers edited out vital descriptive information about The Trevor Project, the public service organization Pentatonix had chosen to represent in prime time.

The five members of the group, Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, Avi Kaplan, Kirstin Maldonado and Kevin Olusola chose to share on-screen time with The Trevor Project and highlight the organization’s good works with the multi-million viewers of The Sing Off.

Unfortunately, viewers unaware of The Trevor Project’s mission to provide crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth will remain a bit uninformed because LGBTQ references by Trevor Project representatives were clearly edited out.

Lachey introduced The Trevor Project segment by noting that when members of Pentatonix were younger, “they faced challenges because they were different,” and that they had chosen to highlight “an organization working to help bullied youth.”

Bullied youth? Partially true. But The Trevor Project very specifically seeks to provide suicide prevention services to LGBTQ youth. Was it too much for a prime time audience to hear those words and initials? It’s like noting that the Susan G. Komen foundation helps people with chest problems.

Then come the edits. Scott Hoying, an adorable blond member of Pentatonix, is on screen at the start of the segment and just as he is about to utter the LGBTQ acronym, the camera cuts away. The same thing happens when The Trevor Project representative David McFarland explains, on camera, the organization’s mission. Again, as he is about to say "LGBTQ," the producers cut away and the initials are edited out.

Watch for yourself:

So what group of viewers watching NBC at 8 pm on a Monday night was likely to be upset to learn that The Trevor Project, and by extension perhaps, Pentatonix, were LGBTQ-affiliated? Lord only knows.

The problem is, The Sing-Off is a singing competition show with a strong following. No doubt that includes many viewers who are LGBTQ. To NBC and The Sing-Off producers, it left the impression that their LGBTQ viewers don’t amount to a hill of beans when it comes to pursuing audiences.

Just a thought, but once you proactively edit "LGBTQ" from your program, LGBTQ viewers should probably edit themselves from your audience.


For those who wish to support the wonderful a capella winners, Pentatonix’s next performance will be in A Sing-Off Christmas, airing at 8 pm Monday on NBC.

The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth at