new-normal

Ellen Barkin says gay storyline is why new show is facing 'censorship'

Sep. 7, 2012 at 9:45 AM ET

It hasn't even aired yet, but NBC's new series "The New Normal" is already generating controversy: a Salt Lake City affiliate has refused to air the series, claiming the language and stereotypes are offensive. But star Ellen Barkin, who is herself rude and crude on the series, took exception to that as an excuse when she spoke with TODAY's Matt Lauer Friday.

As Barkin explained, she's pretty certain the real objection stems from the show's portrayal of a gay couple who want to grow their family. "They're a serious committed couple who want to have a baby, but can't because they're two men," she said. "And I think unless you have exaggerated stereotypes, it becomes unacceptable for certain extremist religious groups."

That said, certain scripts have had her raising her eyebrows, and as she recounted, she's spoken with show creator Ryan Murphy (the man behind "American Horror Story" and "Glee") about that.

"Sometimes I'll read a script and I say to Ryan Murphy ... 'We're never going to get away with this' and he says, 'You know, by the time you've read a script, NBC has approved it already.'"

Which means Barkin has apparently embraced all of the buzz and possible fallout about the show. 

"I hope it's extremely controversial," she said. "It's meant to be."

"The New Normal" premieres on NBC on Tuesday at 9:30 p.m.

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