Ryan Murphy wants One Million Moms to know they are represented in his new comedy for NBC, “The New Normal.”
“If they watch the show, I actually think they would love it, because for the first time they are represented,” Murphy said on Tuesday at NBC’s portion of the Television Critics Association summer tour in Beverly Hills. “[The character played by] Ellen Barkin is a member.”
Murphy was referring to Barkin’s character Nana/Jane, who spits out lines about Rocky’s race (NeNe Leakes), and the sexuality of show’s gay couple Bryan (Andrew Rannells) and David (Justin Bartha).
“I just think the show is funny. But I also think the show in many ways is about tolerance, and I think it’s about a discussion of tolerance,” Murphy continued. “And I think their points of views are delivered with sensitivity and a certain amount of veracity by Ms. Barkin. So I think they would actually – if they watched it — I think they would like it.”
One Million Moms has already urged its members to write to executives at NBC and Comcast to drop the show.
Murphy suggested Barkin’s character will also be involved in protests on “The New Normal.”
“She will talk about all those issues that the Million Moms talk about. We haven’t written all the episodes, but I’m sure and she will protest people and events and I think that’s great fodder for the Bryan and David characters too, and Goldie character [played by Brit Georgia King], to talk to her about it,” he said.
Rannells, a stage veteran of “The Book of Mormon,” said he was wooed to his leading role in the series by the opportunity to work with Murphy and play a multi-layered gay character on network television.
“As a gay man, it’s hard to sort of find projects that you can play a gay man [where] it feels like it’s a fully developed character that’s not just the best friend, just the bitchy boss,” he said. “This is like a fully developed person and I get to play him. Certainly the gay is a big part of it. The gay is also just a fraction of what I get to do on the show.”
As for “The Hangover’s” Bartha, he revealed he approached Murphy when he heard Rannells was a part of the show.
“I had read about Ryan doing a show with Andrew. I had also seen ‘Book of Mormon,’ and I thought Andrew was brilliant… I called them. I initiated it,” Justin said. “I think Ryan is brilliant. The way he has ended up dictating popular culture — whether it is on purpose or not on purpose — I think he can be compared to a modern day Oscar Wilde… It just seemed like the best quality project out there and I wanted to be a part of it.”
“The New Normal” premieres Thursday, September 11 on NBC.
-- Jolie Lash