ABC 'Modern Family' Boss Hopes His Show Helps Overturn Voters on Prop 8

In their promotional e-mail today, TheWrap.com proclaimed “TV can take credit for helping America learn to love gays and lesbians.”

"Modern Family" co-creator Steve Levitan told TheWrap on Monday that he'd be "happy" if his hit ABC sitcom helped influence the Supreme Court outcome.

"If we played even the tiniest role in helping to defeat Prop 8 and giving all gay people the equal rights they deserve, then I'm a happy man," said Levitan....

"One of the great pleasures of doing 'Modern Family' is the feedback we get from gay people and their families who tell us that their love of the show and their affection for Mitchell and Cameron opened the door for conversation and acceptance," Levitan added.

Tim Molloy of The Wrap wrote a piece on “How TV Helped Clear the Way for Same-Sex Marriage.” Somehow “Soap” was left out: “From ‘Will & Grace’ 15 years ago to ‘Modern Family’ today, television shows have brought homosexual characters into the homes of people who might otherwise have thought they didn't know any gays.”

Molloy rejoiced that 2012 was “was a far cry from the 2004 campaign, when Republicans tried to get anti-gay marriage initiatives on state ballots to drive conservative turnout and help then-President Bush.”

This is a different country than it was then. Last week, a Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 58 percent of Americans believe gay and lesbian couples should be able to wed, up from 37 percent in 2003.

If the increasing number of loving gay couples on television hasn't helped that evolution, it certainly hasn't hurt. Once, homosexuals on television were shameful perverts, if not criminals. Then they were comic relief. Then sidekicks.

In the last decade, they have become as fully formed as any of the other characters on our two-dimensional screens.

So it will be interesting to see, when the justices rule later this year, if they've been watching the same show as everyone else.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis