One of the more remarkable things about the remarkable run of ABC’s hit comedy “Modern Family” is that the show has gotten very little blowback about its depiction of Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet), a gay couple who are the proud adoptive parents of their daughter Lily.
If there is any blowback, the show’s co-creator, Steven Levitan, hasn’t heard any of it, he told critics today at the TCA tour. “I get shielded from most of the nut jobs. Occasionally something will leak through on Twitter but it’s so rare.”
The show is in 200 global markets, including Vatican City, so it’s pretty safe for Levitan to say, “The world has embraced Mitchell and Cam, and I think that’s interesting. When you make it personal and show they have good hearts and are loving and committed parents it’s hard not to love them. To right wingers, I dare you to watch the show and not to love Cam and Mitch.”
Of course, Cam and Mitch and their parenting are front and center in their story, as they have the youngest kid and are looking to adopt another. In fact, in an upcoming story, the couple has to deal with their little daughter saying “f–k” for the first time.
When Levitan said “Lily says ‘f–k’” to the assembled critics it got a big laugh, but many people thought he was joking. However, anyone who’s had kids knows that the moment is very real. “What happens in life is that kids occasionally stumble upon a word, maybe they heard it, maybe they just say it, and they see a reaction, and it becomes their go-to word for a little while. That’s what the story is about,” he said after the panel.
Don’t worry about whether Aubrey Anderson-Emmons, who plays Lily, had to say the word on set. “We never forced the beautiful, innocent child to say the actual word in real life,” said Levitan. “To tell you the truth, she says ‘fudge’ in real life,” which gets bleeped out and her mouth gets pixelated. “We thought that was really funny.”
Watch the latest episode: