Does this dress make me look fat? Or just offensive?
A Halloween episode last month showed someone dressed up as a pregnant “Norwalk prom girl.” Other references — including one about a Westport family’s discomfort at using a Norwalk swimming pool — also portrayed our next-door neighbor in racially, ethnically and economically divisive ways.
A petition calling on ABC and Disney — its parent company — to stop insulting Norwalk was signed by over 400 Norwalkers. Another 150 signers live outside the city. Many people added comments, expressing pride in Norwalk.
In news reports on the controversy, State Senator Majority Leader Bob Duff — of Norwalk — said the show mocked children, and made light of the fact that “we are a city rich in diversity that I view as a strength, not a weakness.”
Norwalk mayor Harry Rilling and school superintendent Steven J. Adamowski joined in the criticism.
Late yesterday, the bullies backed down.
The show’s producers said: “As a comedy, ‘American Housewife’ isn’t intended to offend anyone. We’ve heard the concerns of the people of Norwalk and have made the decision to omit any mentions of the city from future episodes.”
That’s a weak, weasely non-apology.
Too bad they didn’t go one step further, and omit both Norwalk and Westport from the airwaves altogether.
(Click here for the online petition. Click here for a full list of insults to Norwalk. Hat tip: Beth Cody)
Norwalk, Connecticut – home to the Oyster Festival, SoNo, Maritime Aquarium, great shopping and restaurants, thriving diversity, strong schools, beautiful parks and beaches, wonderful people, and much more.
She’s not a “disgusting, piggy” former Miss Universe.
She’s not a 400-pound computer hacker.
She’s not even the “Second Fattest Housewife in Westport” anymore.
But she still lives here.
ABC-TV’s new show — with the new name “American Housewife” — premieres Tuesday (October 11, 8:30 p.m.).
Here’s the promotional blurb:
Katie Otto, a confident, unapologetic wife and mother of 3, raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, filled with “perfect” mommies and their “perfect” offspring.
Katie’s perfectly imperfect world is upended when her neighbor’s decision to move notches her up from her ideal social standing and sets her on a path to ensure that doesn’t happen, regardless of the consequences.
“Game of Thrones” it ain’t.
But feel free to curl up in front of your TV on Tuesday, to see how the rest of America sees Westport.
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