Two conservative groups opposed to gay
rights are asking ABC to abandon plans for a sitcom based loosely on
the life of gay rights activist, sex advice columnist and author Dan
The Media Research Center (MRC) and
Family Research Center (FRC) are behind the effort to kill the
series, tentatively titled The Real O'Neals.
“Dear Mr. [Robert] Iger,” begins a
postcard the groups are asking members to sign. “ABC plans to
release a pilot sitcom based on the life of radical activist Dan
Savage. Dan Savage is a hateful anti-Christian bigot. I am asking
for ABC and its parent company Disney to cancel this pilot sitcom
According to the groups, more than
21,000 postcards have been sent. Another 4,000 telephone calls to
the network have been placed.
The Hollywood Reporter described
the comedy as centering “on a picture-perfect family that is turned
upside down when the youngest son comes of out the closet. What
seems like the end of their idyllic life turns out to be the
beginning of a bright new chapter when everyone stops pretending to
be perfect and actually starts being real.”
Savage told The
New York Times, “it wouldn't be accurate to describe [the
project] as autobiographical,” though he acknowledged it evolved
out of a meeting he had with executives and he's acting as an
executive producer on the series.
MRC President L. Brent Bozell said that
the network was aligning itself with Savage “not because he's gay”
but because of his “religious bigotry and personal offensiveness.”
“There are a thousand and one gay
people they could have chosen,” he said.
Savage is known for going after
high-profile celebrities and politicians who oppose gay rights,
Santorum and Michele
He called the campaign to end the show
“[T]he show isn't by me – I'm not
one of the writers – and it isn't about me,” Savage said.