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Thread: ABC Pulls 'Neighborhood' Reality Series

  1. #1

    ABC Pulls 'Neighborhood' Reality Series


    ABC Pulls 'Neighborhood' Reality Series

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    Jun 30, 7:56 AM (ET)


    LOS ANGELES (AP) - "Welcome to the Neighborhood," an ABC reality series that pushes hot buttons of racism and anti-homosexuality, was pulled by the network before its debut. The program had drawn criticism from groups claiming it risked fostering prejudice.

    In a statement Wednesday, ABC acknowledged the delicate nature of the series in which families asked to pick a new neighbor are made to expose and overcome their biases.

    "Welcome to the Neighborhood" demonstrates what happens when people are forced to "confront preconceived notions of what makes a good neighbor," the network said.

    "However, the fact that true change only happens over time made the episodic nature of this series challenging, and given the sensitivity of the subject matter in early episodes we have decided not to air the series at this time."

    The six-episode show, which was to debut July 10, follows three families in Austin, Texas, who are given the chance to choose a new neighbor for a house on their street.

    Each family initially wants someone similar to them - white and conservative.

    Instead, they must choose from families that are black, Hispanic and Asian; two gay white men who've adopted a black child; a couple covered in tattoos and piercings; a couple who met at the woman's initiation as a witch; and a poor white family.

    In the early episodes, one man makes a crack about the number of children piling out of the Hispanic family's car and displays of affection between the gay men provoke disgust.

    The series' producers had said it was intended to promote a healthy and open debate about prejudice and people's fear of differences.

    The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, after viewing the series, expressed strong concerns.

    While it ultimately carries a valuable message about diversity and acceptance, those watching the first episodes could be left thinking discrimination is "not that big a deal," GLAAD spokesman Damon Romine said Wednesday.

    "Regardless of how things turn out at the end of the last show, it's dangerous to let intolerance and bigotry go unchallenged for weeks at a time," he said, adding that GLAAD hopes a revised version might air.

    Before ABC announced its decision, the Family Research Council said it was worried evangelicals would be made to appear judgmental and foolish.

  2. #2
    Leo is offline
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    Jan 2003
    When you've got GLAAD and the FRC both expressing concerns about the same show, then it must be really painful to watch.

  3. #3
    FORT Fan Ionan's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    Hmm, I have mixed feelings about this. I would have wanted to see at least the first episode to see if I would have liked it, but after reading about the show more, it does sound a bit racey and prejudiced. So I really hope if they do show it, that they use a revised version.

  4. #4
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Sep 2002
    I wanted to see it too.
    It was shaping up to be fairly stereotypical, but I at least wanted to give it a look.

    I wonder if the winner still gets the house.
    I recall when it looked like ABC would not finish airing the second season of The Mole there was some debate about whether the winner would get her money.
    Apparently there was a clause in the contract that stipulated a prize would only be given if the show aired.
    That was the buzz at the time at least, although whether that's true I don't know.

  5. #5
    Premium Member speedbump's Avatar
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    Nov 2003
    Charm City
    Interesting. I was looking forward to watching this, simply to see how the editors, cast and viewers would react to this.

    Why not air it and see what happens? It seems to me that the powers that be would rather shield us rather than educate us. Sometimes hearing and seeing the truth, despite how sensitive and painful of the topic, is the only way to truly educate.
    You got to cry without weeping. Talk without speaking. Scream without raising your voice.- U2

  6. #6
    Positive K
    Aw, I was looking forward to seeing it.

  7. #7
    Kanai Nemeses's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    In my own world
    Quote Originally Posted by Justafan1
    The program had drawn criticism from groups claiming it risked fostering prejudice.
    To hear some ex-reality stars tell it, that's the very definition of a reality show.
    I live in my own world. But it's ok, they know me there.
    Kid Nation... a sad day for society when the exploitation of children becomes acceptable entertainment for television viewers.
    "Online communities, like the Fort, are very snarky and borderline cynical when it comes to celebrities and their shenanigans." -- Leo, FoRT Writer

  8. #8
    Skye's BootyGuard Dogg's Avatar
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    Aug 2003
    well, after reading that article i see why it was shelved

    i can see alot of people getting offended by that premise and the racial stereotyping.

    i'm still wondering why ABC wanted to air something like this... maybe it would have worked on FOX or better yet a cable network like A&E

    i would have watched it regardless though...pretty much nothing on tv offends me

  9. #9
    Fight Queen corprip's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Roeland Park, KS
    The thing about stereotypes is they are often based on real people. Perhaps it's a bit of labelling phenomenon ocurring, but people's behavior will outwardly represent whatever group with which they identify. If someone is being judgmental and claiming it's part of their duty as an evangelical, well then they are allowing that representation. Same goes for any over-the-top behavior from anyone.

    I suppose I'm a little bummed out it isn't going to show, but at the same time the cancellation saves me a lot of heart burn.
    "I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier." The Killers.

  10. #10
    Starbucks is your friend Bill's Avatar
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    Oct 2002
    I suspect that what happened is that the network got criticism from both sides of the political spectrum and at first figured that was great for ratings, then some senior execs were assigned to watch the entire series already filmed decided to watch the canned shows and figured out that it was going to be a dud.

    Thus, ABC decided to "listen" to the concerned groups.
    "George Oscar Bluth II, aka GOB, featured magician in the best selling videotape, "Girls With Low Self Esteem" invites you to enter his world.
    -- Arrested Development, Season III

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