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ABC drops Norwalk from its joke-butt list for ‘American Housewife’

A screengrab from ABC’s website promoting American Housewife.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk is no longer going to be the butt of jokes on a Disney comedy series.

On Monday, State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) released a statement condemning the new ABC sitcom American Housewife for “its denigrating portrayal of Norwalk residents.” On Tuesday, American Housewife’s producers released their own statement:

 

“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.”

 

Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski recently sent a letter to ABC, which is owned by Disney, saying that “the insults about Norwalk children on a national network TV show are not funny. Rather, they are pejorative, demeaning and divisive.”

A petition organized by Andy Ross to ask ABC to stop insulting Norwalk had 555 signatures on Tuesday evening, with 404 of them said to be from Norwalk residents.

Duff on Monday mentioned that the Halloween episode of the show, “where the daughter of the main character dresses as a pregnant-looking high schooler and tells her mother that she and her Westport girlfriends are all dressing as ‘Norwalk prom girls.’”

Duff, like Adamowski, wrote to ABC Entertainment Group President Channing Dungey asking the network “to cease its attacks on Norwalk and to issue an apology to the nearly 90,000 people who call Norwalk their home,” Monday’s press release said.

“I am writing to you as a fifth generation resident of Norwalk, the father of a Norwalk High School student, and as the state senator for the 25th Senatorial District, which includes the City of Norwalk,” Duff wrote to Dungey on Nov. 21, according to the press release. “Norwalk is a diverse city with our students coming from all walks of life and all over the world. To be targeted by an entity owned by the Disney Corporation is uncalled for. Your company supposedly preaches family values and claims to be family friendly. I’d like to know how many of your writers have actually ever been to Norwalk.”

Duff’s press release said:

 

“American Housewife” debuted on ABC on October 11, 2016 and has just begun its second season. ABC describes the sitcom as “a confident, unapologetic wife and mother of three raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, filled with ‘perfect’ mommies and their ‘perfect’ offspring.”

“American Housewife” has received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes, which describes itself as “the leading online aggregator of movie and TV show reviews from professional critics,” gives “American Housewife” a failing grade of 6.05 on a scale of 1-10, and notes that while the show “is boosted by a strong and enjoyable lead performance … (that) performance alone strains to sustain an excessively quirky show that relies too heavily on stereotypes.”

The website WesportNow.com reports that Kenny Schwartz, a 1985 graduate of Staples High School in Westport, is an executive producer of “American Housewife” and that the lead male actor on the show, Diedrich Bader, is married to actress Dulcy Rogers, who is a 1982 Staples High grad.

Signatures on the petition were rolling in Tuesday, with Rebecca S. saying at 3 p.m., “I am disgusted with ABC and Disney for putting this bigoted, bullying piece for viewing by anyone who happens to turn on the tv. In today’s climate what the world needs now is love, sweet love, not hate. Shame on ABC and Disney. Norwalk deserves an apology.”

9 comments

Donna Smirniotopoulos November 28, 2017 at 9:25 pm

Thank you, Senator Duff, for saving the people of Norwalk from god-knows-what kind of insidious evil!

John Levin November 28, 2017 at 9:39 pm

Ridiculous. I think that Bob Duff, Steven Adamowski, and Andy Ross should complete their homework assignment by issuing an approved list of who and what they will allow to be insulted, or made fun of, by a TV show.

Rick November 29, 2017 at 2:52 am

First of all it shows how stupid Norwalkers are, in no way does Duff speak for me and adding to the cloud over Norwalkers is the fact all diddlers on law and order some say come from Norwalk. It actually shows an account in an article on this that Law and order program uses Norwalks massage parlors and strip club as destinations in the program.Using Metro North ti get here and 95.

I have no proof that Norwalk is mentioned but now that this has erupted over Disney more info is coming out.
Its like everything else our elected officials do, they open their mouth without knowing all the facts.

Now does the city go after Law and Order

we are now a laughing stock fueled by elected officials, who is going to believe the city is not messed up?

The black eye the city has is growing soon we may have an extinct mall before its built, a new gas power plant that the city has spent money on making it a park.

by the way the new high water mark on water st some are saying is caused by raising Day st how can that be, the only bike route serviced by a ferry will be funny.

maybe we can have the tours in a duck boat duff can be a commander for a day

Yes the news is Norwalk has been a targeted for jokes , yet taxpayers can tell you its all a joke.

The harm done to this city is bipartisan just ask any victim that has been told the crime rate has gone down, yes it has using 1986 stats another joke.

Channel 12 just reported a tow scam on elderly at housing complexes its funny isn’t it we care about a program but screw the old lady who had her car towed and had to pay 300 plus to get it back, this Disney thing is what Harry needed

and you wonder why Norwalk is a target ?

A massage parlor in Norwalk has been busted 25 times and is still open , maybe there is something too that law and order show after all.

Brenda Wilcox Williams November 29, 2017 at 9:17 am

With all due respect for different opinions, we believe that our reputation is worth standing up for.

US Blues November 29, 2017 at 9:55 am

Doesn’t bobby have more important things to do like…get more money for our city schools so maybe we wouldn’t be the butt of the jokes?

Rick November 29, 2017 at 1:46 pm

I agree Brenda, Lets thank the Hour for an article that has rum more times than a Boston Marathon

http://www.thehour.com/news/article/Report-Connecticut-s-drunkest-metro-12374969.php

http://www.thehour.com/living/article/The-Local-Drinking-Show-shines-a-spotlight-on-10832328.php

Nice to think someone is watching out for the city, looks like city hall is ok with the Hour

who is we by the way the voters who don’t vote ? We may be looking at a respect factor at this point

parking tickets and towing along with drinking is the reputation Norwalk has , the show was just a diversion.

Rick November 29, 2017 at 2:14 pm

you can see today the Hour promotes drinking at the cinemas , this really sends a message to our youth doesn’t it?

The new mall will probably have 25 plus liquor licenses , GGP has business models of a bar in almost every business , stores are not what malls are all about anymore . Its obvious no one read the fine print.

This was a couple of days ago

http://blog.ctnews.com/ctbites/2017/11/21/bow-tie-cinemas-in-norwalk-now-features-food-drinks-and-a-stylish-renovation/#_ga=2.241727618.1451739586.1511980512-128761847.1487089425

Jorge November 29, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Had barely heard of Norwalk before seeing this article, certainly had never seen the show (and still won’t). But one thing I do know now is that there are a bunch of snowflakes in Norwalk who’s poor widdow feewings get hurt very easily!! 🙂 🙂

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NancyOnNorwwalk.com was conceived as the place to go for Norwalk residents to get the real, unvarnished story about what is going on in and around their city. NancyOnNorwalk does not intend to be a print newspaper online; rather, it exists to pull the curtain back and shine a spotlight on how Norwalk is run and what is happening regarding issues that have an impact on taxpayers’ pocketbooks and safety. As an independent site, NancyOnNorwalk’s first and only allegiance is to the reader.

About Nancy

Nancy came to Norwalk in September 2010 and, after reporting on Norwalk for two years for another company, resigned to begin Nancy On Norwalk so she engage in journalism the way it was meant to be done. She is married to career journalist Mark Chapman, has a son, Eric (the artist and web designer who built this website), and two cats – a middle-aged lady and a young hottie who are learning how to peacefully co-exist.