Thursday, December 29, 2011

A letter to Lloyd and Levitan

I LOVE the TV show Modern Family. Pretty shamelessly, too. The writing is fantastic, the acting is great, I love the high jinx. Most of all, I love that the Modern Family is portrayed as individual core units, but also as an extended family, multigenerational, and best of all, diverse.

The Modern Family of TV fame includes almost all major "diversity" populations. There is a homosexual couple, with an adopted Vietnamese daughter. There is a guy who probably fought in Vietnam with a Colombian trophy wife...and her roly-poly (read: obese) son. His step-sister,mwho is forty, doesn't seem like she could identify a cookie in a line-up, she's so thin. There's a goofy dad, an uber-achieving high school freshman, the list goes on.

But you know what they don't have (yet)? A person with any perceivable disability. Despite the fact that there are however many people in this country with disabilities, Modern Family has bypassed this segment of the population. It is an untapped resource as far as viewership and accompanying advertising dollars. (Also they have no South Asian/Indian/Middle Eastern character, also a surprisingly untapped resource. I thought they had no black character, but then I remembered they have the next door neighbor who was introduced earlier this season in a way that said, "I'll be recurring.")

Anyway...I bring this up because the gay couple is looking to adopt a brother for their little girl. This is Lloyd and Levitan's big chance. What better way to introduce someone with a disability to the Modern Family than by adopting a child with Down syndrome, or some other disability? What a phenomenal way to bring light to people with disabilities and all the great reasons to adopt one!

For that matter, maybe they adopt a kid with an autism spectrum disorder? Children in the US have a 1/133 likelihood of carrying that diagnosis. They could even get twice the bang for the buck and make him Egyptian or something.

Maybe I'm reaching. Maybe L&L don't think they could handle the character with enough tact in a comedy show. I have confidence in their writing...I'd love to see them try.

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