Actress Sara Ramirez identifies as bisexual as did her character on Grey’s Anatomy. Therefore it was no surprise that Ramirez found a bisexual joke offensive on the ABC sitcom The Real O’Neals.
So what was this offensive comment? On the January 17, 2017 episode of The Real O’Neals, Noah Galvin’s openly gay character, Kenny, compared being bisexual to having “webbed toes” or “money problems.”
Ramirez tweeted a link to a Change.org petition imploring ABC to “end biphobia and bi-erasure” on the sitcom. Ramirez also retweeted a January 18th statement from the LGBTQ advocacy group PFLAG, which partnered on the episode in question. “We were so focused on the family acceptance portion of the episode that we completely missed the joke,” the statement said. “In hindsight, we should have caught it and we blew it. We should have done better and we will definitely do better next time. As allies we have a responsibility to own it when we mess up.”
Galvin also addressed the joke last month on Twitter, writing that the show “respects and loves the bi community,” and that the joke represented “a panicky teen expressing his ‘deepest fear’ which was his boyfriend leaving him for a girl.” He added, “I am sorry if we offended anyone. I hope you know our show fights for visibility and inclusivity and we will do better in the future. BUT, we also have to remember, it’s a comedy.”
ABC refused to comment.
Do you watch The Real O’Neals? Did you find the joke offensive? Comment here with your thoughts.ABC Network, biphobia, comedy, Grey's Anatomy, Noah Galvin, PFLAG, Sara Ramirez, Television, The Real O'Neals, TV show