Before I get into Eyeglass Gate, I have to mention the shizz that went down on twitter last night. ONTD started it all–it’s pretty much explained here. And, indeed, ONTD’s call-to-arms to make #gokeyisadouche trend on twitter, had peeps twittering til it trended to #1–until twitter got wind of the campaign and yanked it off.
Danny’s relatives weren’t part of the show ¬’I could give a rat’s ass about them. And, hacking into a stranger’s account in order to post their private business on the internet is pretty low. Ok, so I’m hearing that it may or may not have been hacked. And I realize peeps are pissed about his clueless remarks on Comcast.net:
Yes. I accept gay people, but people have to accept my beliefs, ” Danny said. “We have to accept their beliefs, but they have to accept my beliefs. We agree to disagree. I don’t judge people, but at the same time, if they believe in what they believe, they have to accept me and what I believe. But I accept anybody as they come. That’s my character and my personality.
Anyway, it’s still kind of ridiculous–Gokey’s relatives aren’t celebrities. But yes. I’ll admit it. I watched and I giggled. The commotion on twitter last night was totally a lawnchair-and-popcorn worthy event,
FramesDirect.com, the online eyeglass retailers who entered into a dubious partnership with fansite Danny Gokey Gear to peddle “Danny Gokey Eyewear worn by Danny Gokey on American Idol” (more on that here and here) with part of the proceeds supposedly going to Danny Gokey’s charity, Sophia’s Heart Foundation has just issued a press release. A little damage control maybe?
The founder of FramesDirect.com, a doctor, has a little backstory of his own:
Avid “American Idol” fan Dr. Guy Hodgson and his wife had 14-week premature triplets in March 2008, leading to heart operations for two of the babies, one a seven-hour open-heart surgery. The baby’s heart actually had to be stopped and he was put on a bypass machine. Fortunately, the heart defect was repaired and all of the babies are now thriving. You can view the story of Dr. Hodgson’s triplets including pictures and video at http://www.totsites.com/tot/hodgson3.
Dr. Hodgson was very touched when watching the story of “American Idol” finalist Danny Gokey and the love he had for his late wife, who also had a heart condition and died in July 2008, four weeks prior to Mr. Gokey’s “Idol” audition.
FramesDirect.com agreed to split the gross profits with the fan site, because DannyGokeyGear.com will be donating a portion of the profits to Sophia’s Heart Foundation. When there appeared to be some confusion in the social media over the campaign’s intentions, Dr. Hodgson decided he would also make contributions directly to the foundation himself. His first hand experience of his own children undergoing heart operations made this fund raising effort very personal to him. To emphasize his personal commitment to the cause, Hodgson also pledged to give 50% of the remaining FramesDirect.com profit from all sales of these frames between May 24, 2009 and July 21, 2009, regardless of whether the purchase is made by a fan, to Sophia’s Heart Foundation. Dr. Hodgson has contacted Sophia’s Heart Foundation to inform them of the pending donation.
As of June 12, 2009, sixty-two frames have been sold. FramesDirect.com and DannyGokeyGear.com will continue to monitor sales and make their final donations on July 22nd 2009.
The press release claims that TV Guide was somehow mixed up in all this:
The Fashion Team on TV Guide’s “Idol Wrap Up” show wanted to feature the eyewear worn by Gokey during his performances on “American Idol” and direct the public to the fan web site, DannyGokeyGear.com, for more information on the various frames. DannyGokeyGear.com contacted FramesDirect.com, to arrange for an easy way for fans to purchase the eyewear.
“It appears there may have been some confusion among Danny’s fans and perhaps even Danny himself about this project, ” Dr. Hodgson said. “Hopefully, this information will clarify the situation and my personal involvement and also increase the awareness among the public of Sophia’s Heart Foundation, ” he added.
Nope. Not clarified. I’d still like to know why FramesDirect.com was selling eyeglasses using Danny’s likeness and the American Idol logo without permission. And why they’re still selling them despite Danny calling them out as a scam. Perhaps I (or you) should drop the good Dr. an email.
Please feel free to contact Dr. Guy Hodgson at gwhodgson (at) framesdirect (dot) com