Bob Duff

Senate Majority Leader

Bob Duff

Standing Up For You!

November 27, 2017

Duff Joins Chorus of Boos for ABC Sitcom ‘American Housewife’

Repeated jabs at Norwalk rile 5th-gen resident Duff

NORWALK—Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) today joined the chorus of criticism being heaped on the new ABC sitcom “American Housewife” for its denigrating portrayal of Norwalk residents—particularly students—who are supposed to serve as some sort of foil to the snobby and grasping Westport characters portrayed on the show.

The website reports that the City of Norwalk has been referenced at least eight times on the show, including in a recent October 29 Halloween episode where the daughter of the main character dresses as a pregnant-looking high schooler and tells her mother that she and her Westport girlfriends are all dressing as “Norwalk prom girls.”

Sen. Duff has written a letter (attached) to ABC Entertainment Group President Channing Dungey asking ABC to cease its attacks on Norwalk and to issue an apology to the nearly 90,000 people who call Norwalk their home.

“I am writing to you as a fifth generation resident of Norwalk, the father of a Norwalk High School student, and as the state senator for the 25th Senatorial District, which includes the City of Norwalk,” Sen. Duff wrote Dungey on November 21. “Norwalk is a diverse city with our students coming from all walks of life and all over the world. To be targeted by an entity owned by the Disney Corporation is uncalled for. Your company supposedly preaches family values and claims to be family friendly. I’d like to know how many of your writers have actually ever been to Norwalk.”

“American Housewife” debuted on ABC on October 11, 2016 and has just begun its second season. ABC describes the sitcom as “a confident, unapologetic wife and mother of three raises her flawed family in the wealthy town of Westport, Connecticut, filled with ‘perfect’ mommies and their ‘perfect’ offspring.”

“American Housewife” has received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes, which describes itself as “the leading online aggregator of movie and TV show reviews from professional critics,” gives “American Housewife” a failing grade of 6.05 on a scale of 1-10, and notes that while the show “is boosted by a strong and enjoyable lead performance . . . (that) performance alone strains to sustain an excessively quirky show that relies too heavily on stereotypes.”
The website reports that Kenny Schwartz, a 1985 graduate of Staples High School in Westport, is an executive producer of “American Housewife” and that the lead male actor on the show, Diedrich Bader, is married to actress Dulcy Rogers, who is a 1982 Staples High grad.

Various Norwalk officials have written ABC voicing their opposition to the portrayal of Norwalk residents on the show, and an online petition has been launched to encourage ABC to stop the Norwalk insults: