NBC Series "The New Normal" Attracts Controversy
TV viewers who remember the famous 1997 "coming out" episode of "Ellen," or even the debut of "Will & Grace" a year later, know that network television has come a long way in the depiction of gays and lesbians. The two-time, Emmy-winning comedy "American Family" depicts a gay couple with an adopted daughter and next week, NBC plans to debut "The New Normal," a series about the relationship between a gay couple, their surrogate and her mother.
While LGBT viewers across the country already are eagerly anticipating this new addition to the network line-up, the show will not be seen in Salt Lake City. NBC's Utah affiliate, KSL-TV, which is owned by the Mormon Church, is refusing to air the new series created by Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler.
"For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time," said Jeff Simpson, CEO of KSL's parent company, Bonneville International, citing "rude and crude" dialogue and "offensive" characterizations.
Series co-star Ellen Barkin called the decision "blatantly homophobic" and GLAAD was also quick to respond.
In addition to "The New Normal," the station also does not carry "Saturday Night Live" and last season dropped "The Playboy Club" for "objectionable material."