Ryan Murphy says the conservative group "One Million Moms" would love his new NBC show, "The New Normal," if they would only watch it.
The show is about a gay couple who have an African-American woman's eggs implanted into the womb of their surrogate mother, a single mom. Ellen Barkin plays the surrogate mom's bigoted mom, who doesn't want the egg donor's eggs in her daughter, and doesn't care much for gays. Murphy said the character is "100 percent" a member of One Million Moms.
"If they watched the show — I actually think they would love it," Murphy said at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour. "Because for the first time, they're represented. Ellen Barkin is a member of that group. Which is the truth.
He said the Barkin character would "protest people and events" and that other characters on the show would respond. One Million Moms, which also objected to JC Penney hiring the openly gay Ellen DeGeneres as a spokeswoman, said "The New Normal" was "using public airwaves to continue to subject families to the decay of morals and values, and the sanctity of marriage in attempting to redefine marriage."
Murphy said his show was influenced by "true genius" Norman Lear, who explored social issues in shows including "All in the Family" and "Maude." He said the Barkin character's tirades would spark discussion.
"I think the show is funny, but I think in many ways the show is about tolerance and I think it's about a discussion of tolerance," he added. "And I think that their points of view are delivered with senstiivity and a certain amount of ferocity by Ms. Barkin, so I think they would actually, if they watched it, they would like it."