Residents of Norwalk demanded ABC to stop showcasing insults against their city in the sitcom “American Housewife,” and the network finally took note of their concerns.
“As a comedy, ‘American Housewife’ isn’t intended to offend anyone,” producers announced Wednesday, as reported by TheWrap.com. “We’ve heard the concerns of the people of Norwalk and have made the decision to omit any mentions of the city from future episodes.”
Earlier this month, The Hour reported school district administrators, city officials and civilians took their complaints up with ABC, insisting the show’s degrading jokes are a form of bullying on a national level.
“The insults about Norwalk children on a national network TV show are not funny,” Superintendent Steven Adamowski wrote in a letter to ABC Entertainment Group President Channing Dungey. The letter was also submitted to ABC comedy programming executives, as well as the creator and executive producers of the series.
“Rather, they are pejorative, demeaning and divisive,” added Adamowski. “Ms. Dungey, are you aware that you are promoting a bias? In Norwalk, we teach our children from a young age that bullying in any form is not acceptable. Yet our high school students in particular now find themselves the target of stereotypes and prejudices, on a TV network owned by Disney.”
The outrage grew during the show’s October 29th episode when one of the characters dressed up as a “Norwalk Prom Girl” for Halloween, wearing a gown over a fake belly to imply a late-term pregnancy. TheWrap.com added “American Housewife,” which is currently in its second season, has made similar jokes throughout its run.
Norwalk resident Andy Ross was compelled to create an online petition declaring the network must leave Norwalk and its children out of their jokes.
“High school age is (sp) difficult enough while kids struggle with self-esteem and image issues,” he wrote. “This kind of attack on their self-worth can only prove to be damaging to their confidence and civic pride.”
Nortwalk Mayor Harry Rilling also told The Hour depicting the town’s children in a negative light is a form of bullying that has impacted the entire community.
“This is a form of bullying,” he explained. “Making fun of Norwalk students, making fun of any student is inappropriate and it’s painting Norwalk with a broad stroke ugly brush, and nothing could be further from the truth. Our students are excellent students with our graduating class every year is accepted to the best colleges in the United States.
"I plan on reaching out again, and I plan on continuing to reach out again until they stop. And if everybody in Norwalk, and everybody who is as offended as I am, stops watching the show, the ratings will go down and they’ll cancel it.”
“American Housewife” tells the story of Katie Otto (played by Katy Mixon) who attempts to raise her family in a wealthy town.