By Amy Ryan
June 30, 2005 at 07:54 PM EDT

ABC’s Welcome to the Neighborhood wasn’t supposed to debut until July 10, but it has already united viewers across the country: They’re all offended. Gee, could it have been the show’s premise? It involves the predominantly white, Christian residents of a development outside Austin, Texas, auditioning a variety of families (including a gay couple with a black child, a Korean-American family, a Latino family, and a pagan couple) to win a house in the surburban enclave.

Though ABC says lessons of tolerance are ultimately learned, it’s decided to pull the show after bowing to pressure from groups across the political spectrum. The conservative Family Research Council feared that the show would portray the Christian homeowners in a bad light. The National Fair Housing Alliance said that the residents’ consideration of the applicants’ religion and ethnicity may violate federal housing laws. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination applauded the show’s message of tolerance but complained that it came only after several episodes of unchallenged bigotry. ”We hope ABC finds another approach toadvance the cause of understanding that doesn’t send mixedmessages by using exclusion to make a point about inclusion,” a GLAAD spokesman told the Hollywood Reporter.

Of course, the fact that everyone doesn’t want me to see this show only makes me want to see it more. Especially since it might actually have been good. ”It’s hilarious and had me in stitches,” civil rights lawyer John C. Brittain told the New York Times. ”If it weren’t so discriminatory,it would be great.”

Were you planning to watch Welcome to the Neighborhood? Do you think ABC was right to pull the show?

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