KSL-TV, NBC’s Mormon-owned Utah affiliate, will not air Ryan Murphy’s new gay family sitcom The New Normal, citing “rude and crude” dialogue and deeming the program “inappropriate” for “family viewing time.”
Deadline reports that CEO of KSL’s parent company, Bonneville International, Jeff Simpson, told local papers, “For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”
The sitcom stars Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha as a gay couple who have a baby through a surrogate, thus forming a non-traditional, but still loving, family. So it totally makes sense that “family viewing time” would be corrupted by something so blatantly anti-family, right?
Ellen Barkin, who plays the surrogate’s outspoken mom and is equally and famously outspoken in real life, took to Twitter to blast KSL’s decision:
Shame on u @kslcom not airing @NBCTheNewNormal So L&O SVU (rape & child murder) is ok? But loving gay couple having a baby is inappropriate?
Anyone in Utah interested in @NBCTheNewNormal please clog up @ksl5tv feed 4 their blatantly homophic decision 2 not air the show #KSLBigots
As a result of the ban, a young Utah girl with gay parents started a petition on Change.org, stating that her “family is just as beautiful as anyone else’s,” and demanding for KSL to air the show come fall.
GLAAD also weighed in with a statement from president, Herndon Graddick:
“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 LGBT 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 by citing ‘crude and rude’ content and refusing to affirm LGBT families, KSL and Mr. Simpson are sending a dangerous message to Utah. They should make that right.”
This is not the first time KSL has bumped heads with NBC programming. The station does not carry Saturday Night Live and last year dropped The Playboy Club over “objectionable material.” The New Normal is expected to air, however, on the weekends on local station KUCW, which picks up SNL and sports programs preempted by the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.