The SanityPrompt

This blog represents some small and occasional efforts to add a note of sanity to discussions of politics and policy. This blog best viewed with Internet Explorer @ 1024x768

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Where We Are Now

This story serves as a microcosm of where we are as a nation. It's all there -- reality TV, politics & culture, left versus right, the sensitivities of cultural and political minorities. One day, I want to see a reality show about the attempt to make this reality show.

ABC pulls edgy reality show after groups complain: "LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - ABC has pulled an upcoming reality series in which people with various backgrounds vie to win a house in a white neighborhood, after gay and conservative watchdog groups raised concerns, the Hollywood trade papers said Thursday.
The six-episode 'Welcome to the Neighborhood' had been scheduled to debut on July 10. Seven families, including a gay couple with an adopted son, people of Asian, black and Hispanic descent and pagans, had to convince conservative residents that they were worthy of moving into the house near Austin, Texas.

'Our intention with 'Welcome to the Neighborhood' was to show the transformative process that takes place when people are forced to confront preconceived notions of what makes a good neighbor, and we believe the series delivers exactly that,' Walt Disney Co. -owned ABC said in a statement carried by Daily Variety and the Hollywood Reporter.

'However, the fact that true change only happens over time made the episodic nature of this series challenging, and given the sensitivity of the subject matter in early episodes, we have decided not to air the series at this time.'

Daily Variety said ABC could eventually air a condensed version so that the feel-good ending comes sooner.

Groups ranging from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the National Fair Housing Alliance to the conservative Family Research Council had raised concerns about the show, the papers said.

GLAAD was concerned that the gay couple might get grilled by the neighbors, while the Family Research Council was worried that the conservative neighbors might be ridiculed for their Christian beliefs.

The National Fair Housing Alliance argued the show ccontravened various housing laws prohibiting discrimination, though Daily Variety said it passed muster with ABC's lawyers. A network official was unavailable for comment."

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