A furor is erupting over a Utah television station’s refusal to air an upcoming NBC comedy called “The New Normal.” The station, KSL-TV, is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The program focuses upon a single mother who is planning to be a surrogate for a homosexual couple. The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD), among others, has been voicing its anger with the decision to ban the show.
“These days, families come in all forms — single dads, double moms, sperm donors, egg donors, one-night-stand donors… It’s 2012 and anything goes,” an official description of “The New Normal” reads. Information about the pilot adds more: “With successful careers and a committed, loving partnership, Bryan and David are missing only one thing: a baby. Could Goldie be just the surrogate mother they’re searching for?”
After viewing the first episode, which will premiere nationally on September 11, CEO of Bonneville International, the parent company of KSL-TV, said that the company deems the show “inappropriate” for its viewers (One Million Moms, a conservative group, has also targeted the show).
“After viewing the pilot episode of ‘The New Normal,’ we have made the decision to keep it off our fall schedule,” Simpson said in an interview with Deseret News. ”For our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”
Watch the program’s trailer, below:
GLAAD president Herndon Graddick isn’t pleased with the decision, calling KSL and its leaders “deeply out of touch…with the rest of the country.” In addition to dismissing the station’s charge that the show is contrary to family values, Graddick also invited KSL to sit down with the gay rights organization to talk its issues out.
“We invite Jeff Simpson to sit down with GLAAD and local LGBT families,” Graddick said in a statement. “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.”
Actress Ellen Barkin, who plays the lead role in “The New Normal” is also targeting KSL, calling the station’s decision “blatantly homophobic.” On Twitter, she also pleaded with LDS to “change,” writing (spelling kept in tact) “There r Mormons who struggle with their church’s stance on gay rights..among other issues.Chruch proved capable of change ie, polygamy. Hope?”
Over the weekend, she also wrote, “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?”
So far, Bonneville International isn’t bending. This isn’t the first time KSL-TV has prevented a show from airing. Last year, the short-lived progrm “The Playboy Club” was also held back from airing on the station.
(H/T: Hollywood Reporter)