Anti-gay conservative groups are trying to get ABC to kill a new sitcom which features a teenage son who comes out as gay, and his family life.
The sitcom is said to be marginally based on the life of sex columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage who is also an executive producer of the series, tentatively titled ‘The Real O’Neals.’
Savage is the author of the wide known internationally syndicated ‘Savage Love’ relationship and sex advice column, and co-founder of the It Gets Better Project.
According to news reports, the Media Research Center (MRC) and Family Research Council (FRC) said their members have sent more than 21,000 postcards and made more than 4,000 telephone calls asking ABC to abandon the series which is currently in production.
ABC has not commented on the effort.
The show, which features actress Martha Plimpton as the family matriarch, is one of 12 comedy pilots the network is considering. About half of those pilots – at most – will get the green light.
In a letter sent to Ben Sherwood, president of the Disney/ABC Television Group, MRC president Brent Bozell and FRC President Tony Perkins cited Savage’s ‘radical hate speech’ and ‘venomous anti-Christian bigotry.’
‘They’re choosing him for his signature, which is religious bigotry and personal offensiveness, not because he’s gay,’ the Associated Press quoted Bozell as saying. ‘There are a thousand and one gay people they could have chosen.’
Savage says their campaign is ‘misdirected’.
‘A campaign for or against the show isn’t relevant at this point as the pilot isn’t even finished yet,’ he said.
‘Again, the campaign… is misdirected, as the show isn’t by me – I’m not one of the writers – and it isn’t about me.’