A Christian organization and a television watchdog group has slammed the ABC sitcom "The Real O'Neals" for its overall content. According to the representatives from the groups, the show mocks Christianity and features inappropriate content.
"The Real O'Neals" debuted earlier this month and is currently on its first season. The premise of the show basically revolves around a Catholic family living in Chicago. However, the background of each family member contradicts their traditional and religious environment.
For instance, the father, Pat O'Neal, played by Jay R. Ferguson, is thinking about getting a divorce. Middle child Kenny O'Neal, portrayed by Noah Gavin, on the other hand, has just revealed to his family that he's gay. Also, the youngest in the family is beginning to question her faith.
As noted by Tim Wildmon, the president of the American Family Association or AFA, through themes like these, the show blatantly insults Christianity and its followers.
For example, as highlighted by Wildmon in his article published in Charisma News, aside from the vulgar language, some of the jokes in the show involve Jesus Christ. In addition, in one of the episodes, the youngest character tries to prove that God does not exist through a science project.
The AFA head then attributed the offensive content of "The Real O'Neals" to its executive producer Dan Savage, who is also known as an anti-bullying and LGBT rights advocate. As noted by Wildmon, Savage's previous television projects also have the same themes that target religion.
Aside from the AFA, the Parents Television Council or PTC also reviewed the show and reported that it contains content not appropriate for children. According to the group, this goes against the show's rating, which is TV-PG.
"ABC has essentially inserted explicit and adult-themed humor into a PG-rated, primetime program that is about a family, created for families," Tim Winter, president of the PTC said in a statement according to Christian Post. "Even worse, much of the sexual and expletive-laced dialogue is delivered by characters who are children."
But, despite the criticism received by the show, it was still praised in certain reviews. The Cavalier Daily, for instance, commended the show for depicting a seemingly conventional and conservative family as they deal with progressive issues. According to the site, the show was also able to successfully veer away from the stereotypical image of a religious family and has managed to stand out from other current family-centric sitcoms.