Last week, station KSL in Utah announced that it would not be airing the new NBC comedy THE NEW NORMAL, starring Andrew Rannells, Justin Bartha and Ellen Barkin, due to possible inappropriate or explicit content. The comedy follows a male gay couple who decide to have a baby via a surrogate.
After a request from GLAAD, representatives from the TV station met with the organization as well as LGBT families. While the station did not change its position, it did release the following statement jointly with the Utah Pride Center:
In a major step today, representatives of Salt Lake City's KSL-TV and its parent corporation, Bonneville International, met with LGBT families about the controversial TV show "The New Normal." Following the meeting KSL representatives stated that, "We care about and value all members of our community, including LGBT people and their families, and are grateful when there can be the type of cordial and respectful dialogue we have had today."
Brandie Balken, Executive Director of Equality Utah, upon leaving the meeting commented, "It is so important that KSL and its parent company Bonneville International have come out very publicly today and reinforced the value of all families, including LGBT families here in Utah and across the country."
Valerie Larabee, Executive Director of Utah Pride, stated that, "As to the intent of this meeting, we're not particularly interested in debating content, but rather in increasing the sensitivity and awareness about LGBT families. We believe after today's meeting with Bonneville International CEO Jeff Simpson, that point was well received. We also wish to thank Mr. Simpson and his colleagues for the civility and tone of the meeting."
At this moment where our country is so divided, we believe dialogue and communication are the best way to bridge cultural gaps. We strongly feel that our children have a right to grow up in a community knowing that their families are as important and valuable as any other. We are grateful for the opportunity to introduce our families to KSL management today and appreciate their willingness to talk with us.
Even though our meeting today was not to debate the content of the show, "The New Normal," we are fully aware there has been a lot of attention on the potential content. We are committed to moving the conversation forward, and building community awareness and respect. Viewers will have an opportunity to make their own decision as to the content.
It was also announced that a special screening of the show's pilot episode will be held in Utah and sponsored by GLAAD, Equality Utah and the Utah Pride Center. The screening will be followed by a panel discussion.
Photo courtesy of NBC