This month has seen a wake of protest and tragedy over a movie trailer posted on YouTube that some in the Muslim community find offensive.
Many of the comments I've read support the filmmaker's freedom of speech in posting the trailer. Others fault him for the deaths of a U.S. ambassador, among others.
No matter where you stand, it's a shocking reminder of just how powerful words and images can be.
As you'll recall, last week I asked your opinion about a slightly less controversial piece of videotape: NBC's new comedy "The New Normal."
The show features a gay couple who are trying to have a baby using a surrogate. Given the subject matter, and that it was already banned by at least one NBC affiliate in Utah, I wanted to know what readers of this column thought.
Well, here goes …
Pat writes, "I watched the first episode until the two men were in bed talking, giggling and then kissed. That was it for me! No more 'New Normal.' I definitely think the Utah affiliate was right for banning the show. If this is what happens in your home, okay. But I don't want to see it. Nor do I want my children and grandchildren to see it. I hope the show doesn't make it!"
Robin writes: "I turned on the show to check it out. Within 15 minutes or less, I was changing the channel. It made me very uncomfortable. I have female friends that are gay and I am comfortable with them. This show, hopefully, is not the new normal! What is this world coming to?"
Fran writes: "Hi Bill, I read your column about Ryan Murphy's latest project, 'The New Normal,' with interest this morning (not to say that I don't always read your column with interest).
"I first heard that the Salt Lake City affiliate of NBC was banning 'The New Normal' a few weeks ago. Frankly, until that point, I hadn't intended to watch it, not because it's about a gay couple, but because Ryan Murphy is behind it. (show runners do what they like, but I feel that some of them tend to ruin their shows). This is the reason why between him and Hart Hanson, I no longer watch 'Glee' or 'Bones.'
"Why are people so threatened by a couple attempting to have a baby? So what if they're gay? They're still people, aren't they? Give it a chance. If the writing is poor, if the acting is poor, if the directing is poor, that's the time to stop watching."
As I said last week, I find the show, especially Ellen Barkin, to be very extremely funny, which is the number one goal of any comedy. I can understand why comfort levels vary for folks watching and then choosing not to watch. However, I'm not a fan of banning this show, as positive portrayals of people who are different is important for anyone who might feel harassed or bullied.
Ultimately, Fran, you are correct. Viewers and advertisers will decide if this show survives.
On another note, Tim remains upset at WINK for their decision not to air the entire U.S. Open Tennis match a couple weeks back. He writes:
"WINK had several options and they chose the least option to benefit their viewers. Most of the people do not receive the higher cable channel WINK uses for 24/7 news. WINK should have carried the U.S. Open Men's final on their flagship channel. And they could have moved their local news and the political ads with it to their all news channels somewhere in the 200 cable band.
"Another option would have been to use Channel 6 to carry the Tennis or the news. These guys are so arrogant. As a CBS affiliate are they not obligated to carry CBS programming? How much revenue would WINK have lost by showing the tennis? Not as much as they lost in viewer loyalty."
News and notes
Fall preview, part II: I sampled the first episode of NBC's "The Revolution" last week. The pilot was very good. I probably won't watch again because this can only go one of two ways: It gets cancelled rather soon and we'll never know the mystery; or we have to watch for five to seven years, only to be disappointed with an ending that can't live up to the hype.
Another new episode airs tonight. My TiVo will move over to CBS, for the premiere of "Hawaii Five-O."
Both shows air at 10 p.m.
Emmys reminder: Don't forget the Emmys are Sunday night on ABC. Here's the coverage times and channels:
"Countdown to the Red Carpet": (5 p.m., E!) A first look at the fashion parade and interviews with celebrities.
"Live From the Red Carpet": (6 p.m., E!) Ryan Seacrest and Giuliana Rancic host.
"Emmys Red Carpet Live" : (7 p.m., ABC) Josh Elliott, Lara Spencer. Chris Harrison and Clinton Kelly host.
"64th Annual Primetime Emmys": (8 p.m., ABC) Jimmy Kimmel hosts from the Nokia Theatre. Presenters include Ricky Gervais, Louis C.K., Amy Poehler, Ginnifer Goodwin, Mindy Kaling and Jim Parsons.
Correction: Last week we told you about a new channel to this market, MundoFox. Unfortunately we printed the wrong channel numbers, It airs on Comcast 229 and in HD on 437; Marco Island Cable, channel 14 and HD 314; and over the air on 46.2.
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.