NORWALK, Conn. – A teenager has her back to the camera; her mother comments that she looks beautiful in her pink gown for her Halloween costume. Then the girl turns around -- and appears undeniably very pregnant-looking thanks to the balloon under her dress. She tells her mom she and her Westport friends are all dressing as “Norwalk prom girls."
That was a scene on an episode of ABC’s American Housewife that aired before Halloween this year. While it wasn’t the first time that Norwalk was the butt of the joke on the show, Andy Ross hopes to make it the last.
The lifelong Norwalk resident has had enough.
“Is that fun or funny? Not really,” said Ross.
“I’m concerned about this kind of slander and degrading of our town – and our students in particular.”
Norwalk has been referenced at least eight times on the show as a counterpoint to tony Westport, where the sitcom family lives, and all but one reference (which was more neutral than positive) have been unfavorable.
Why use a real place? Setting the show in a fictitious town (albeit reminiscent to a real one), as many shows do, is just as effective for humor, contended Ross.
Ross has launched a petition in hopes of having the writers stop insulting Norwalk. He has also contacted Norwalk’s Mayor’s Office and the Board of Education for their support.
Westport, Ross pointed out, doesn't fare much better. And a quick online search shows Westporters aren't happy with the depiction of their town as a bunch of class-conscious snobs.
“All I want is to get people behind this, to sign the petition and share it with their friends. I want ABC to stop these 'jokes.' Maybe even give Norwalk an apology," said Ross.
“ABC and Disney should be ashamed of themselves.
“Norwalk is a great place to live and bring up children. We have culture, diversity, and arguably a touch more class than the producers and writers."
“I haven’t seen the show,” said Reginald Roberts, principal at Norwalk High School, “But from the information I’ve received, the comments are insensitive, inflammatory, and wrong, painting an inaccurate picture of our community.
"To make derogatory statements—even in the name of humor—is in bad taste and, simply, unacceptable.”
Do you think American Housewife has crossed the line? To sign the petition, visit: www.stoptheinsults.com .
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