Welcome to the Neighborhood

Nothing makes me happier than to see the worst of Americans’ prejudice, xenophobia, intolerance, and ignorance displayed in the form of entertainment. The bad thing about the Jerry Springer Show was that all the fuckwits who graced his stage could often be too easily dismissed as imposters, fakes. This, on the other hand, sounds as though it might be pretty convincing, and thereby extremely helpful in solidifying our nation’s reputation as a collection of ass-backwards, unrepentant bigots:
A new reality series in which three white, self-described "Christian" families get to pick their new neighbors from among a group of minority families is already drawing fire.

And it hasn't even aired yet.

The show is called "Welcome to the Neighborhood" and it's coming to ABC July 10.

"I will not tolerate a homosexual couple coming into this neighborhood," one of the neighbors, Jim Stewart, says on the show about one of the candidate families — a gay couple with an adopted baby.

"I want a family similar to what we are," asserts another neighbor, John Bellamy, in a statement that would seem to dismiss at least six out of the seven candidate families.

The diverse group includes African-American, Caucasian, Korean, Latino and gay families, plus one family in which husband and wife are heavily tattooed, and another in which mom and dad are devoted to the practice of Wicca, sometimes known as witchcraft or paganism.

The show's first two episodes are filled with statements such as those above.
Someone who’s seen those first two episodes, Damon Romine, the Los Angeles-based entertainment media director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said, in what I can only imagine is quite the understatement:
Watching three privileged couples vote to get rid of disenfranchised families they don't like is really disturbing.
The entire concept, which, in essence, makes a mockery of very real issues such as racism, homophobia, religious intolerance, and housing discrimination, just to name a few, is really disturbing. And I can’t decide who’s more loathsome—the white, self-described "Christian" families who agreed to be paid bigots or the diverse group who agreed to play the foil to their bigotry and put up with such heinous judgment for the chance to win a stinking house.
"Welcome to the Neighborhood" was filmed over a four-week period last winter in a suburban housing development in Austin, Texas.

The winning family gets a four-bedroom, three-bath home, plus furnishings, upgrades and two years' worth of property taxes paid for them — a prize worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $900,000, estimates two of the show's executive producers, Jay Blumenfield and Tony Marsh.
It’s quite an accomplishment that this show seems rife with the potential to be equally demeaning to members of multiple races, adherents of several religions, gays, straights, squares, punks, and probably some other subgroups not identified in this article. Truly shocking. A pitiful commentary on the state of our culture.

If you’d like to tell ABC how much they suck, here’s the info:

ABC, Inc.
500 S. Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521-4551
Phone number: (818) 460-7477
Audience Relations Department at netaudr@abc.com

(Hat tip Pam.)

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