Utah TV Station Nixes NBC Comedy THE NEW NORMAL
EW reports that a Mormon-owned Utah TV station is refusing to air the new NBC comedy series THE NEW NORMAL. The station, which also gave a thumbs down to last year's controversial series 'The Playboy Club,' told the Salt Lake Tribune that they were not comfortable with the show's content. The comedy, from Glee creator Ryan Murphy, tells the story of a gay couple who relies on a surrogate to have a baby.
Said Jeff Simpson of the station's parent company Bonneville International, “For our brand, this program feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time."
In response, NBC has issued a statement which reads: “The New Normal is a contemporary look at how families are defined today, portrayed through a comedic prism. We are confident that the show will find another home in the Salt Lake City market.”
On Saturday, GLAAD commented on the Utah TV station's decision to ban the show. GLAAD president Herndon Graddick said in a statement released Saturday, “Same-sex families are a beloved part of American television thanks to shows like Modern Family, Glee and Grey’s Anatomy. While audiences, critics and advertisers have all supported lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender stories, KSL is demonstrating how deeply out of touch it is with the rest of the country. We invite Jeff Simpson to sit down with GLAAD and local LGBT families. We know that if he would, he would see that not only are our families normal, but my citing ‘crude and rude’ content and refusing to affirm LGBT families, KSL and Mr. Simpson are sending a dangerous message in Utah. They should make it right.”
Earlier this year, series creator Murphy commented, “Every person and group has a right to protest something. I find it to be interesting that they would take a position before they’ve seen it. I think if they watch the show, I actually think they would love it." he continued, "In many ways this show is about tolerance and the discussion of the tolerance and its delivered with sensitivity with a certain amount of veracity.”
Series star Ellen Barkin, who portrays the grandmother of the surrogate, also responded on Twitter, posting, "Shame on you [for] not airing The New Normal. So [Law & Order: SVU] is ok? But [a] loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?" The actress went on to address CEO Simpson, "Who does Jeff Simpson, CEO of Bonneville, find 'offensive?' My Christian conservative [character], the gay couple or the unfertilized egg? There are Mormons who struggle with their church's stance on gay rights, among other issues. The church proved capable of change [with] polygamy. Hope?"
Photo credit: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC