Childrearing

NBC Affiliate In Salt Lake City Decides Same-Sex Parents Aren’t Appropriate For ‘Family Viewing Time’

By  | 

One of the most talked about new sitcoms of the fall season is from Glee creator Ryan Murphy and it centers around a gay couple starting a family with the help of a single mother who agrees to be their surrogate. The New Normal stars Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha as a committed couple excited to have their first child. Georgia King plays a single mother from the Midwest who moves to LA with her eight-year-old daughter. And the wonderful Ellen Barkin plays the disapproving mother of Georgia who follows her daughter to California. Apparently, this set-up is racy enough that The New Normal has been dropped from the airwaves in Salt Lake City.

The CEO of the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake, Jeff Simpson, explained their reasoning for pulling the sitcom like this.

“We have made the decision to keep it off our fall schedule. For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”

So it’s not just the same-sex couple, it’s also the presence of a single mother that angers the conservative executives in Utah? I especially like the mention of “family viewing time,” because apparently it only applies to certain types of families.

One of the stars of The New Normal took to Twitter to protest the decision, bringing up an extremely thoughtful point. Ellen Barkin had some words for the NBC affiliate KSL-TV.

ellen barkin

Barkin brings up an extremely valid piece of information, that violence is still accepted on television while same-sex couples are considered controversial. There are plenty of television shows, that all air during prime time I might add, that I believe have inappropriate content for my daughter. They have violent crime or crude humor or sexually suggestive content. And yet, they all make it to the airwaves without much of a fuss.

And yet, the mere presence of a same-sex couple is inappropriate for Salt Lake City? I find that disappointing to say the least.

Same-sex parents exist. They live all over the country. They raise children just like any other set of parents and they got through all of the same problems anyone else does. The thing that KSL-TV doesn’t seem to understand is that ignoring their existence won’t make these families go away. Plugging your ears and yelling “La La La” in the face of the changing family dynamics in our country won’t make The New Normal any less real.

I’m excited for this show, even more now that I know it’s facing unfair hurdles to try to humor America. I’ll be even more happy to tune in week after week and laugh at whatever silly scenarios they come up with. But I just hope that KSL-TV knows that even if they could stop one sitcom from being aired. They will not be able to change the fact that families like this exist. They will not be able to stop the evolving face of the nuclear family in this country. And it’s only going to become increasingly present in our cultural entertainment.

(Photo: NBC, Joseph Marzullo/Wenn.com)