NBC Executives are standing strong behind Ryan Murphy’s new comedy for the network – “The New Normal” – in the wake of a campaign by One Million Moms that suggested the yet unaired program hurt the group’s views on marriage.
“The title isn’t meant to push the idea that that’s a more normal family than everyone else,” Jennifer Salke, President of NBC Entertainment, said on Tuesday at the peacock’s portion of the Television Critics Association summer tour in Beverly Hills. “It’s just meant to open up, to bring a family show to the public that we feel captures the zeitgeist of what’s going on in the country right now and being inclusive and you know, as [Ryan Murphy] would say, the normal family isn’t a gay family, it’s just a different family and I think we all see that all around us every day.”
“The New Normal” stars Justin Bartha and Andrew Rannells as a committed couple who decided to have a child through a surrogate, played by actress Georgia King. Georgia’s grandmother is portrayed by Ellen Barkin, and the Nana character spouts racist and homophobic remarks throughout the premiere episode.
In fact, Ellen’s Nana character, will address some views of some audience members, Salke suggested.
“You do get some irreverent comedy from the Nana character, who is brilliantly portrayed… and she is exploring… an extreme side of the audience that [has] different attitudes about that family,” she said. “But the bottom line is, the three episodes that I’ve read, they’re all exploring story lines that come from any of those six characters and they all kind of come back to this very warm sort of relatable, heartfelt place, and it’s about responsible parenting, changing your lifestyle once you start having children, pursuing your dreams and what it will take to get there, from everyone’s point of view.”
Salke added that she believes the comedy is a “love letter to families” from Murphy.
As previously reported on AccessHollywood.com, One Million Moms, which also organized a campaign against JCPenney after it hired Ellen DeGeneres as its spokeswoman, is encouraging its supporters to e-mail executives at Comcast and NBC, encouraging them not to air the show.
“NBC is using public airwaves to continue to subject families to the decay of morals and values, and the sanctity of marriage in attempting to redefine marriage. These things are harmful to our society, and this program is damaging to our culture,” read a post on the One Million Moms website.
GLAAD (the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) issued its own statement over the weekend, condemning the group’s move.
“Yet again, ‘One Million Moms,’ a project of the American Family Association — whose membership we already know is far less substantial than their name — is doing its best to stir controversy where there clearly is none,” GLAAD President Herndon Graddick said in a statement to Access Hollywood last Saturday. “From hit shows like ‘Glee’ to ‘Modern Family,’ it’s clear that Americans today don’t care whether their favorite TV characters are straight or gay. We now live in a culture where gay people are not only a common part of our society but where gay characters are also applauded by both TV critics and audiences alike.”
-- Jolie Lash