Ellen Barkin Defends The New Normal After Salt Lake City Station Bans Show

Ellen Barkin recently Tweeted she thought it was “homophobic” that Salt Lake City’s KSL-TV announced it would not air NBC’s “The New Normal,” the new comedy from Ryan Murphy and Ali Adler. And, with more than 140 characters at her disposal on Wednesday during a conference call with reporters, she explained her position further.

“Yes, it is their right to ban something, but I do think it’s a form of censorship,” Ellen, who plays Jane, the grandmother of Goldie (Georgia King), a young woman who agrees to carry the child of a gay couple (played by Andrew Rannells and Justin Bartha), said on Wednesday.

Jeff Simpson, CEO of KSL’s parent company, Bonneville International, said in a statement to the SLC Deseret News recently, that “for our brand, this program simply feels inappropriate on several dimensions, especially during family viewing time.”

KSL also chose not to air NBC’s “The Playboy Club” last fall.

Barkin said she couldn’t understand why “a show that I happen to love like ‘Law and Order: [SVU]’” is part of the KSL lineup (it airs this Wednesday at 9 PM), while “The New Normal” (which is slated to air on Tuesdays at 9:30/8:30c) was deemed unsuitable for the station.

“Like that show, that I hope nobody is allowing a 10-year-old to watch, is acceptable, but a show about a very loving, committed, same sex couple wanting to raise a child — why that is explicit and offensive and rape, murder, child slavery, in very graphic detail is not — with very graphic language,” she said.

The actress said she’s received plenty of Tweets for making her stance known as she’s glad it’s helped promote conversation.

“Yeah, I did take a position on that and being responded to by both sides meant that people paid attention,” she said.

Barkin’s character, Jane, is actually the show’s most unfiltered (verbally) character, one who has already gotten comparisons to “All In The Family’s” Archie Bunker.

“I think that all the characters on the show are true and honest and they’re not stereotypes and the characters, as written… their positions are from the heart and from life experience. Now some people’s positions are more fear-based than others,” she said. “And I do reference ‘All In The Family’ and I don’t know if anyone ever tops Norman Lear, but I do think that is a good template for what we’re going for. And, at the end of the day, you had to stick with him, but… Archie Bunker was a humane person. He was afraid of ‘the other’ and as you watch the show progress, you saw why he was afraid [and] he became a very complicated character and I think all of our characters are very complicated and deep .”

“The New Normal” premieres September 11 at 9:30/8:30c on NBC, and is already available to watch on Hulu, by clicking HERE.

-- Jolie Lash

Copyright 2014 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.