Conservative groups have reportedly set their sights on trying to kill a show that is in the works at ABC. In an AP story, veteran TV writer David Bauder reports that the comedy about a family with a teenage son who comes out as gay is being targeted “because sex columnist and gay rights activist Dan Savage is involved in the production.”
“The Media Research Center and Family Research Council said their members have sent more than 21,000 postcards and made more than 4,000 telephone calls asking ABC to abandon the series, tentatively titled ‘The Real O’Neals,'” Bauder writes. “ABC is not commenting on the effort, while Savage said it is misdirected.”
The project, which stars Martha Plimpton, could get lost in the shuffle even without the pressure, being one of 12 comedy pilots ABC has under consideration, the report notes.
The show is in part inspired by Savage’s experiences growing up in Chicago. Savage, an executive producer on the project, is quoted in Bauder’s piece saying that the show “has evolved throughout the development process and it wouldn’t be accurate to describe it as autobiographical.”
But Bauder notes that Savage’s involvement appears to have rallied conservative groups.
Bauder reports: “In a letter sent to Ben Sherwood, president of the Disney/ABC Television Group, MRC president L. Brent Bozell and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins cited Savage’s ‘radical hate speech’ and ‘venomous anti-Christian bigotry.'”