Antigay Viewers Are Dangerously Moved by Sweet Gay TV Couples
A blogger associated with an antigay group is warning shows like Modern Family are tricking people into feeling empathy for same-sex couples.
After Modern Family’s gay couple, Cam and Mitch, got engaged in an episode last week, Evan Mantel of the Media Research Center — a notoriously antigay organization — posted a rant on the group's blog claiming it was “dangerous” because it made him feel empathy for the fictional couple.
“This was a good episode. I laughed. I cried. I felt. It moved me like good art is supposed to do. But that's the problem. It moved me. It made me feel joy for Cam and Mitchell after the Supreme Court over-ruled California's Prop 8,” Mantel wrote of the show's most recent episode. “And that is what makes this show great. And dangerous. It relies on feelings which mislead. There is no logical argument in favor of gay marriage, but the sweetness of Cam and Mitchell trying to outdo each other's proposal is touching.”
Mantel went on to encourage his readers to continue watching the show “but know that what you are seeing is fiction and not a realistic portrayal of reality.”
Earlier this year, Modern Family actor Jesse Tyler Ferguson — who plays Mitchell Pritchett on the hit series — told The Advocate one of the things he enjoyed most about his role was having this exact effect on those who harbor antigay views. “I feel like there are a lot of people who still aren’t comfortable with gay characters on television,” Ferguson said. “But what I admire about our show is that it has a plethora of characters for people to attach to, and slowly those people are becoming attached to Mitchell and Cameron as well. It’s kind of like a Trojan horse. We sneak into a lot of people’s living rooms when they aren’t expecting it and maybe change some minds through the back door.”
If Mantel’s latest blog entry is any indication, Ferguson and the rest of the cast and crew behind Modern Family are affecting views exactly the way they intended.