Modern Family creator reluctant to take credit for gay characters on other shows

Steve Levitan: 'The minute it becomes our agenda, it loses some of what makes it perhaps special'

Modern Family creator reluctant to take credit for gay characters on other shows
01 August 2012

It was in the first episode of Modern Family in 2009 that gay couple Cam and Mitch introduced their adopted baby, Lily, to the world.

Since then, the couple – played by Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Eric Stonestreet – has been an integral part of the comedy’s Emmy-winning formula.

Other US networks have taken notice.

This fall, Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells star as a gay couple having a baby with the help of a surrogate mother in the NBC comedy The New Normal. And over at CBS, Michael Urie and Brandon Routh play a couple in the sitcom Partners.

Ryan Murphy, the executive producer of The New Normal, doesn’t hesitate in acknowledging the impact Cam and Mitch have had on the American viewing audience who have embraced a gay couple raising a daughter largely without incident.

‘I’m personally just so appreciative to Modern Family and also to Will & Grace because those shows are huge successes, and I think so many people watch those shows and are educated, and those shows changed views,’ Murphy told reporters, including GSN, at the TV Critics Association event in Beverly Hills last Friday. ‘And, yeah, I think that they’re wonderful programs, and I think that we stand on their shoulders in success hopefully, if we’re so lucky. But I’m full of deep admiration for those actors and those characters.’

Gay Star News caught up with Modern Family creator and executive producer Steve Levitan (pictured) at an ABC cocktail party to ask him about Murphy’s remarks that his show have helped the way for others.

‘I hear a lot of stories and we’re very proud about that,’ Levitan said. ‘It may have played a role but if you’re going to say that then you have to say that Will & Grace played a big role in paving the way for us. I think there have been a lot of gay characters on TV in recent years. What’s good is that it’s now being judged on whether or not it’s funny and not whether this is a lifestyle we support.’

‘We just want to continue to tell very real stories about those two people,’ he adds. ‘We don’t have an agenda. The minute it becomes our agenda, it loses some of what makes it perhaps special.’

Levitan said it doesn’t take any extra effort to write about Mitch and Cam as it does about any of the other Modern Family characters.

‘They are based on people we know and, in some cases, people we are, and that’s why it feels real,’ he said.

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Harry and Louis gay rumors tearing One Direction apart

Louis Tomlinson says rumors that he's having a gay affair with Harry Styles is affecting his friendship
No thumbnail available

LA Gay & Lesbian Center cancels Deathtrap due to censorship

Estate of playwright Ira Levin prohibited male leads from having physical relationship onstage - despite their being engaged in an affair
No thumbnail available

Neil Patrick Harris marries partner David Burtka

The couple, who have been together ten years and have a son and daughter, tied the knot in Italy
No thumbnail available

Gary Lucy's gay character to return as regular in EastEnders

British soap star said after he had a 'taste' of playing a gay character, he couldn't wait to play one again
No thumbnail available

Gay bishop could become third-most senior cleric in Church of England

Openly gay Dr. Jeffrey John could become the next Bishop of Durham, the third-most powerful position in the Anglican Church
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

No Pride in Eastern Europe

We interview Australian filmmaker Logan Mucha about his  gay rights in Eastern Europe documentary, showing at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival tomorrow
No thumbnail available

Celebs back gay human rights group

Emma Thompson and Michael Palin among Kaleidoscope Trust star supporters 
No thumbnail available

Russian leader defends anti-gay propaganda law, claims no one discriminates against LGBT people

Sergei Naryshkin: 'They build their lives freely and in accordance with their preferences'
No thumbnail available

Bomb squad sent to Irish gay charity's office after package arrives with note saying 'Goodbye'

Sinister package arrives just weeks after equal marriage victory