ABC’s Modern Family isn’t just one of the highest-rated shows on television, it’s also an awards darling. Last month, Sofia Vergara, Rico Rodriguez and the rest of the cast of the Emmy-winning series picked up their third consecutive SAG Award for Best Comedy Ensemble. Despite its critical success, the series has received criticism during its four seasons on television. Here’s a look at five Modern Family controversies.
Gloria Called a Latina Stereotype
Sofia Vergara may have earned three Golden Globe, three Emmy and three Screen Actors Guild Award nominations for portraying the bold and the beautiful Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on Modern Family, but the response to her character hasn’t all been positive. "Latino stereotypes prevail," said Abel Ortiz at La Prensa, pointing out Gloria’s poor English-speaking skills and heavy accent, the mention of crime and drugs in her native Colombia, the jokes about her being a gold digger and the way Vergara’s character always dresses as if she "were going to a club." Vergara’s response? “I am not scared of the stereotypes,” she tells The Daily Beast. “I always try to remember how my mom used to scream, and my aunt, and how women were in Colombia to make the character as funny as possible.”
What The Fudge Did Lily Say?
In its third season, Modern Family earned the wrath of the Parents Television Council and a student group called the No Cussing Club after news broke that Cameron and Mitchell’s adopted two-year-old daughter Lily would drop the F-bomb in an episode entitled “Little Bo Bleep.” “The more we see and hear this kind of language on television, the more acceptable and common it will become in the real world,” said PTC’s Melissa Henson. Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet, who portrays Cameron, took to his Twitter account to address the controversy, saying: “Lily didn’t ACTUALLY say FU*K. She said fudge. How bout see the episode, THEN form an opinion. For fudge sake people. Chill the f–k out … how bout redirecting energies of the No Cuss Club 2 reading 2 the elderly, picking up litter, feeding the hungry…” And the controversy didn’t seem to affect the show… The “Little Bo Bleep” episode was watched by 11.89 million viewers.
Pissin’ Off Peru
During its sophomore season, Modern Family managed to spark ire in the Latin American community for a line uttered by the show’s Latina lead. In “Unplugged,” Sofia Vergara’s beloved Gloria says, “Ah, here we go. Because, in Colombia, we trip over goats and we kill people in the street. Do you know how offensive that is? Like we’re Peruvians!” Immediately Milagros Lizarraga of Peru USA and Beatriz Merino of the country’s People’s Defender’s Office demanded an explanation. “No country should have to be offended,” said Merino, who wanted Peru’s U.S. ambassador to get involved. Lizarraga, meanwhile, told the Associated Press, “It’s incredible that in a country where everything is politically correct, ABC would have a line of this sort. Many Peruvians think this is no coincidence, that she knew what she was saying, because an actress has the power to say, ‘No, I can’t say this because it would hurt my image,’ unless she agrees with what she said.”
Cam & Mitchell’s Beso
Following Modern Family’s first season, which drew criticism from the LGBT community for failing to demonstrate any PDA between the show’s gay, campaigners set up the popular 'Let Cam & Mitchell kiss on Modern Family' page on Facebook. “We don’t quite get that controversy,” responded Steven Levitan, the show’s creator, to the controversy. “We think the vast majority of the gay community finds the Cameron and Mitchell depiction to be very positive. Here we are the first show on television to show a committed gay couple adopting a baby, raising a baby. It seems to me that there are better targets out there than us. That said, everything we’re doing is based on character and that very issue will be addressed next season. But it was our plan all along to do so.” Sure enough, in the second episode of the show’s sophomore season, aptly entitled “The Kiss,” Cam and Mitchell finally locked lips without any major pomp and circumstance, drawing praise from critics.
Haley Has Already Done the Deed
Last season, Ty Burrell’s character Phil Dunphy accidentally learned that his teenage daughter Hayley was not a virgin when his younger daughter misunderstood his reference to "Haley's aversion." She thought he said, "Haley's a virgin." She laughed uncontrollably before realizing she’d let the cat out of the bag. Later, he learned that his wife Claire (Julie Bowen) was already in the know, and that she’d actually been privy to the information for three months. "He's, of course, horrified," Burrell told TV Guide before the episode aired. "But it ends up being very heartfelt and meaningful." The episode, entitled “Virgin Territory,” recently won a Writers Guild of America Award in the Television: Episodic Comedy category.