Utah Station Refuses To Air Gay Family Sitcom “The New Normal”

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.

Photo: Change.org

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  • Kevin B

    This is a controversy? They have a conservative audience, and they expect they will make more profit showing something else. Simple as that.

  • Tracy

    I love NeNe.

  • mlbumiller

    How about this idea; Any network affiliate I would see, has the right to not show any programming from their parent company; but the parent company should mandate if they are not going broadcast, then the affiliate has to are blank space noting refusal of that broadcast with no commercials. Then the affiliate can eat the revenue.

  • SkeeterVT

    KSL-TV, whose owner, Bonneville International, is in turn owned by the Mormon Church, was previously a CBS affiliate and often refused to air CBS programs that the church regarded as “objectionable.” After refusing to air several episodes of CBS’s “All in the Family” and “Archie Bunker’s Place” because they featured gay or transgendered characters, CBS decided not to renew its affiliation contract with the station.

    Considering that the Mormon Church heavily bankrolled the campaign to pass California’s anti-gay Proposition 8, Bonneville’s decision not to carry NBC’s “The New Normal” should surprise no one. Only if the station refused to air NBC News programs that reported on LGBTs in a positive light would the network consider it a breach of its affiliation contract.

  • Neo

    I bet they’ve never seen “To catch a predator”, probably because most of the high up people in the church have been caught raping children already.

    They have such a hate erection for the LGBT and extended community but they serve and protect child rapists by the thousand.

    What a sad place to be, we’re supposed to be better in 2012.

  • CivicMinded

    This is censorship but of the most laughable kind. Not only will a local station re-broadcast the series but anyone with a tablet can download the network’s player app and see the show. Go to the network’s website or Hulu and watch the show. The censors just want to stick their heads in the sand and pretend things don’t exist. What needs to happen is open, honest dialogue. I’ve learned that when someone says “be silent” you need to speak up.

  • CM79

    This should surprise no one.

  • mcflyer54

    Personally I wouldn’t petition or protest the refusal by KSL-TV to air the program. Since there is an alternate channel (KUCW) willing to are “The New Normal” I would be supportive of them and ignore KSL andall of their programming. However, since KSL is an NBC affiliate it is highly likely they won’t notice the loss of viewers since NBC has been in the rating cellar for the last 4 or 5 years (except for the Olympics) and the schedule for the upcoming season doesn’t appear as though they will be improving much, if at all.

  • LubbockGayMale

    I hate to say it, but they do have the right to refuse to carry shows. NBC could do like CBS and drop them as an affiliate, but they’d weather the storm.

    I’d rather see the IRS go after the LDS for getting involved in political matters. Their monetary involvement in Prop 8 is definitely a crossing of the church/state separation line.

  • ccm800

    these Fucks – They cry the blue blazes about being misunderstood and treated unfairly but man they are all over the opportunity to do the same to someone else. Fuck you.

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