A group of Christians have decided to protest The Real O’Neals, a new sitcom based partially on the experiences of “Savage Love” columnist and LGBT writer Dan Savage.
The groups have referred to Savage as an “anti-Christian bigot” who openly admitted to volunteering for a Republican political campaign while suffering from the flu so he could “lick doorknobs in the campaign office to infect others,” the Associated Press via Komo News reports.
Savage also attempted to name a gay sex act after Republican Rick Santorum, the AP report adds.
The Christians who’ve decided to protest cite “radical hate speech” directed at religious people as part of Savage’s “venomous anti-Christian bigotry.”
For Savage’s part, he believes that the protest is misguided when directed at the upcoming comedy pilot.
“A campaign for or against the show isn’t relevant at this point as the pilot isn’t even finished yet,” Savage said. “Again, the campaign… is misdirected, as the show isn’t by me — I’m not one of the writers — and it isn’t about me.”
Savage admitted that he did meet with ABC executives and that the series may have evolved from those discussions, but that the show “has evolved throughout the development process and it wouldn’t be accurate to describe it as autobiographical.”
Nevertheless, Savage is an executive producer on the series about a family taken aback when they find out their teenage son is gay. Martha Plimpton (Raising Hope, The Goonies) stars as the family matriarch.
In an effort to take down the series before it ever begins, the Christians involved in the protest have sent 21,000 postcards and called ABC more than 4,000 times in an effort to get the plug pulled on the series before it airs.
Media Research Center (MRC) president L. Brent Bozell and Family Research Council (FRC) president Tony Perkins and Family Research Council have been among those to author communications to Ben Sherwood, president of the Disney/ABC Television Group, pushing for a ban.
“They’re choosing him for his signature, which is religious bigotry and personal offensiveness, not because he’s gay,” Bozell said. “There are a thousand and one gay people they could have chosen.”
Seth Adam, spokesman for GLAAD, spoke out in favor of Dan Savage and his “Savage Love” column, commending him for making it easier for LGBT youth to come out.
“What’s clear is that inclusive shows are succeeding in the ratings and audiences not only accept LGBT characters but are beginning to expect LGBT characters,” Adam told the AP.
The Associated Press report has also been judged as too “whitewashed” by some Christians, who protest that Savage has “threatened to kill people and said people who disagree with him need to be murdered.”
“The guy would be more at home in Iran or North Korea,” one commenter at the Seattle-Times added.
Another commenter — a supporter of LGBT rights and same-sex marriage — agreed.
“I’m a firm supporter of gay rights and gay marriage… the show itself sounds like it could be good. However, Savage is one of the most hateful and bigoted people I’ve ever read or listened to on the radio and had someone with an equally hateful viewpoint opposite of his proposed a network tv show, there’s no way it would ever see the light of day. Hate is hate.”
Here’s some video of Dan Savage in action saying he wished Republicans were “all f**king dead.”
Do you think Christians are right to protest Savage and call for ABC to abandon ship? Sound off in the comments section.