He has been called “one of the cruelest, most vile political activists in America.”
And now he may have his own television show.
It was a first when ABC Family aired an episode of The Fosters in which it showed two 13-year-old boys kissing. Now Disney-ABC Television Group is considering another first: a sitcom produced and inspired by homosexual activist Dan Savage (shown), a profane anti-Christian bigot who once said he wished his political opponents “were all f***[**]g dead.”
The program, still in the pilot stage, is tentatively called The Real O’Neals and “centers on a picture-perfect family that is turned upside down when the youngest son comes out of the closet. What seems like the end of their idyllic life turns out to be the beginning of a bright new chapter when everyone stops pretending to be perfect and actually starts being real,” wrote the Hollywood Reporter approvingly earlier this year.
The show — and, in particular, Savage’s involvement as an executive producer and as inspiration — have sparked opposition by pro-family groups. As the Star Tribune reported earlier this month, “The Media Research Center [MRC] and Family Research Council said their members have sent more than 21,000 postcards and made more than 4,000 telephone calls asking ABC to abandon the series.” Catholic leaders and the American Family Association [AFA] are also involved in this effort, and just today the Lepanto Institute announced that it was joining the pro-family phalanx.
In fact, many are nothing less than shocked that radical activist Savage would be recruited to help craft a family sitcom. The AFA wrote that Disney/ABC was set to “glorify” an “X-Rated Bully,” while MRC president Brent Bozell said that when he heard Savage was involved, he “gasped in disbelief.”
And this is not melodrama. As the AFA also wrote, “Savage has made numerous comments about conservatives, evangelicals, and Catholics that offend basic standards of decency.“ The organization then provided a list of examples (WARNING: The following is highly vulgar and graphic. Note that it has been edited further for decency purposes by The New American). They include:
• Proclaiming that he sometimes thinks about "f*[****]g the sh*t out of" Senator Rick Santorum;
• Calling for Christians at a high school conference to "ignore the bull[**]*t in the Bible";
• Saying that "the only thing that stands between my d*ck and Brad Pitt's mouth is a piece of paper" when expressing his feelings on Pope Benedict's opposition to gay marriage;
• Promoting marital infidelity;
• Saying "Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there's nothing left but the rope";
• Telling Bill Maher that he wished Republicans "were all f*[****]g dead";
• Telling Dr. Ben Carson to "suck my d*ck. Name the time and place and I'll bring my d*ck and a camera crew and you can s[***] me off and win the argument";
• Using the repair of a statue of Pope John Paul II for a reason to call him a child molester; and
• Spreading the flu by infiltrating presidential candidate Gary Bauer's campaign office, [and] licking door knobs, personal coffee mugs, staplers, keyboards and phones.
Savage also said in early January that the Christian parents of a “transgender” teen who committed suicide should be charged with murder; and in 2012, in a touch of irony, he called a group of high-school students who walked out on one of his speeches "pansy-a**ed."
For his part, Savage denies that The Real O’Neals is about him. As the Star Tribune wrote, “While elements of the pilot were inspired by his experiences growing up in Chicago — the father is a Chicago police officer — the show ‘has evolved throughout the development process and it wouldn't be accurate to describe it as autobiographical,’ said Savage.” Yet this lies in stark contrast to pre-scandal reportage. As the Hollywood Reporter stated in late January, “[T]he untitled Savage comedy is a single-camera semi-autobiographical entry based on the LGBT activist/boundary-pushing columnist's life.” (Emphasis added.) It’s an apparent change in tune and attempt at damage control, an effort by Savage to save his show amidst the maelstrom of criticism.
Regardless of the nature of Savage’s involvement, that he is involved at all speaks volumes, say critics. Live Action president Lila Rose stated that his “public persona is completely opposite to [a] wholesome role model for kids," and to “see the network that brought us Cinderella endorse a man like this should outrage every American who cares about our children and our culture.” And Stephen Phelan, director of Mission Communications, Human Life International, said that if ABC gives Savage “a platform from which to further spread his venom, then let this be the end of the claim that ‘neutral’ media such as ABC just want to promote tolerance. Anti-Christian bigotry is absolutely alright with ABC, so let’s do away with the pretense that this is just about entertainment.”
Unfortunately, Savage has long been given a platform. For 24 years he has had a raunchy syndicated advice column entitled Savage Love and since 2006 has had the corresponding podcast the Savage Lovecast. Even more egregiously, he has often been recruited to speak at schools; this included getting paid $24,000 for a 2013 University of Oregon event during which he spoke to students about, among other things, “the art of fisting and gorilla suit fetishes,” as the College Fix reported.
It also, sadly, would not be out of character for the Disney-ABC Television Group to offer such a platform. As mentioned earlier, subsidiary ABC Family hosts The Fosters, which aired the homosexual kiss between 13-year-old boys in March. And as The New American reported at the time:
[T]he kiss was hardly out of place on The Fosters. Co-created by actor, director, and screenwriter Peter Paige — who claims to be “married” to a man — the program, to quote the Daily Beast, “is already lauded as one of the most progressive shows on TV.” As Raffy Ermac at homosexual site Advocate.com describes it, “The Fosters, which premiered on ABC Family in June 2013, centers on lesbian couple Stef and Lena (actresses Teri Polo and Sherri Saum) and their family; they are parents to Jude and four other children. The show last year brought in a transgender male character named Cole (played by the nonbinary actor Tom Phelan).”
Given this aggressively anti-family agenda, there’s some question as to whether opposition to The Real O’Neals by pro-family groups will deter Disney/ABC — or just encourage it to green-light the show. After all, if your goal is to savage traditional morality, Dan Savage just may be the savage for you.
Photo of Dan Savage: AP Images