Chuck Lorre donned an “IMAG” hat — the logo standing for “Immigrants Make America Great” — during a press conference for his upcoming CBS sitcom “Bob Hearts Abishola” Thursday. He passed out a handful of the hats, which are yellow to contrast with President Trump’s trademark red “MAGA” hat, to TV critics after the panel concluded.
“The story I wanted tell was about the greatness of first-generation immigrants, about the focus and discipline, hard work, rigorous honesty, that goes with coming and grabbing hold of the American dream. So the premise of this series is, Immigrants Make America Great,” Lorre said, pulling an “IMAG” hat from a bag underneath his chair and putting it on. “That was a story I thought worth telling.”
Lorre, who serves as executive producer on “Bob Hearts Abishola” and is credited with creating the pilot, is known for co-creating such successful sitcoms as “The Big Bang Theory” and “Two and a Half Men.”‘
CBS’s official description of the series reads: “‘Bob Hearts Abishola’ is a love story about a middle-aged compression sock businessman from Detroit who unexpectedly falls for his cardiac nurse, a Nigerian immigrant, while recovering from a heart attack and sets his sights on winning her over. Undaunted by Abishola’s (Folake Olowofoyeku) lack of initial interest or the vast differences in their backgrounds, Bob (Billy Gardell) is determined to win Abishola’s heart, in this comedic examination of immigrant life in America.”
“Yes, there is a romance here that will take a long time to play out, and we’re in no hurry to do that. But the story here is, people come to this country and work their asses off to make a life for themselves and their family. That’s a story worth telling,” Lorre continued. “We have hats for all of you. I know you’re gonna wanna wear this hat,” he joked.
A reporter then asked Lorre about “the recent escalation of anti-immigrant sentiment occurred since this show went into production,” and whether he was expecting any “blowback or boycotts from any affiliate stations.”
Lorre responded, “Mel Brooks said, ‘Hope for the best, expect the worst, some drink champagne, some die of thirst.’ I have no idea what the reaction will be. I hope it’s what’s in our heart, which, in a way, this is a love story for all of us. Because we’re all immigrants, or we’re the children of immigrants, or the grandchildren of immigrants, or the great-grandchildren of immigrants. It’s not a political show in that sense — there’s no reason to view it as politics. It’s about people trying to get ahead; get some safety.”