An ABC executive again denied that the network's popular and highly rated sitcom "Last Man Standing," starring comedian Tim Allen, was canceled because it often showcased a politically conservative point of view.
"Politics had absolutely nothing to do with it," ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey told reporters Sunday, Agence France-Presse reported. "We have actors on our shows who have all sorts of political views. Tim Allen is a valuable part of the Disney family and has been for a very long time."
Dungey made a similar statement in May: “‘Last Man Standing’ was a challenging one for me because it was a steady performer in the ratings, but once we made the decision not to continue with comedies on Fridays, that was where we landed."
But an online petition, which garnered over 400,000 signatures, argued that conservative politics were the reason for the show's demise.
"Last Man Standing is one of the only shows on broadcast television, and the only sitcom, that is not constantly shoving liberal ideals down the throats of the viewers," the petition read. "And sadly, that is likely the real reason the show has been cancelled."
Allen was taken aback by the news:
Allen’s character on the show, Mike Baxter, was a political conservative who stuck to and championed traditional American values — and with a biting wit to boot. Allen himself has been outspoken regarding his conservatism and attended Republican President Donald Trump's inauguration.
During an appearance on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live" in March, Allen ripped Hollywood for its ideological intolerance.
“You’ve gotta be real careful around here. You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes,” he told Kimmel. “This is like ’30s Germany. I don’t know what happened.”
“If you’re not part of the group — ‘You know what we believe is right' — I go, ‘Well, I might have a problem with that,’" Allen said.
He also told then-Fox News host Megyn Kelly in late November that “hypocritical” anti-Trump celebrities — most of whom supported Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president — are the actual political bullies.
“What I find odd in Hollywood is that they didn’t like Trump because he was a bully,” Allen said. “But if you had any kind of inkling that you were for Trump, you got bullied for doing that. And it gets a little bit hypocritical to me."
There have been indications that "Last Man Standing" might be picked up by another network, but nothing yet has come to fruition.