ABC is getting heat from its own ranks after The Real O’Neals aired a controversial joke about bisexuality. The joke, included in the January 17 episode, saw openly gay character Kenny compare the challenges that come with bisexuality to having “webbed toes” and “money problems.” In response, Sara Ramirez, who is herself bisexual and spent a decade starring as the bisexual Callie Torres on Grey’s Anatomy, is joining those accusing The Real O’Neals of biphobia and slamming ABC for allowing the line to air. Linking to a petition to “End Biphobia and Bi-erasure on The Real O’Neals,” Ramirez tweeted: “As someone who worked 4 them 4 10 years+,am truly disheartened & disappointed quite frankly.” Having previously kept the possibility of returning to Grey’s open, she added, “I will invest my brand where I’m respected.” The firestorm is not the first time the show has been involved in a failure to successfully thread the needle of edgy jokes about sexuality. After series star Noah Galvin got flak for, among other things, calling Modern Family’s portrayal of homosexuality a “caricature of a caricature of a stereotype of stereotype,” ABC might want to consider some kind of mechanism for catching these critiques in-house.
The Real O’Neals. Photo: ABC