Bryan Fischer Calls Modern Family 'Poison,' Ty Burrell Calls It 'Progress'

In the past week, both the antigay pundit and the Modern Family actor have remarked on the cultural impact of the ABC show, though each had different terms for the effect.

BY Ran Aubrey Frazier

March 29 2014 1:16 PM ET

Antigay pundit Bryan Fischer thinks Modern Family is poisoning America.

The director of issues analysis for the American Family Association, which is classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, went on the right-wing Kevin Miller Podcast Thursday to criticize the popular ABC show for its diverse cast.

“The portrait there that's being presented is designed to make you think that same-sex households are wonderful, they're loving, this is paradise, this is the optimum nurturing environment for children; to make you think that heterosexual marriage is bondage, it's dreary, it's gloomy, and we know that the social research indicates exactly the opposite,” Fischer said.

He then compared Modern Family, which has been lauded by critics for its portrayal of an extended family that includes interethnic and same-sex relationships, to “a little bit of poison” that can damage the moral fabric of a society over time.

“You know, that's the danger,” Fisher said. “It's just like getting a little bit of poison over a long period of time, eventually you get enough accumulation in there where it can be kind of lethal to the organism. And I think that's what you're seeing with a lot of this programming. It has to do with kind of the basic view of morality and marriage and life and family that people have. It's very corrosive; people are just watching TV to be entertained, not realizing that their view of life is being twisted in a way that's very harmful to them and harmful to our culture. "

Ty Burrell, an actor on Modern Family, also acknowledged the ability of the ABC comedy to effect cultural change, though he termed it “progress” rather than “poison.”

“This is probably a little overwrought, but I do actually think the writers are making the world a better place,” Burrell said in an interview Thursday with The Telegraph that promoted his recent film, Muppets Most Wanted. “It’s one of my favorite things about the show. I love it when I talk to conservatives and they’re describing all three couples, and they never mention that one of them is gay. That’s the brilliance of the writing. In a completely unaggressive, apolitical way, they are showing this couple as completely normal dealing with ordinary stuff. The banality of it is the most revolutionary thing.”

“I think if you turned around and asked that same conservative person how they felt about gay marriage, that probably hasn’t changed for them, but the seed has been planted none the less,” he affirmed. “It’s progress and it’s the coolest thing.”

This week Modern Family made news by becoming the most-watched network television show on Wednesday night, beating its time-slot competitor American Idol in overall viewership for the first time ever, reports Deadline. Even Duck Dynasty, the controversial reality show whose cast members have made antigay remarks, fell short of Modern Family in the 18-49 age demographic in its finale, reports The Hollywood Reporter, though it still remained the most-watched show on cable television last week within that demographic.

Listen to Fischer’s full remarks on Right Wing Watch.

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