It’s TV upfront week, which means major network cancellations are being announced left, right and center.
But the liberal ABC Television Network’s decision to axe Tim Allen’s hit Friday night comedy The Last Man Standing has caused consternation among fans who suspect the highly rated multi-camera sitcom has been nixed primarily because of Allen’s right-of-center political beliefs.
The show was ABC’s second-most-watched comedy this season, with 8.1 million viewers, only behind Modern Family. Deadline Hollywood, which broke the news of the cancellation, reported that The Last Man Standing was “hitting ratings highs in its sixth season.”
Many viewers of the show think that the decision is being made by liberal ABC, owned by Disney, primarily because the series is about an unashamedly conservative character (Mike Baxter) played by a conservative actor. Allen told Jimmy Kimmel in March that living in Hollywood right now was akin to being in Nazi Germany.
Leading the protest is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who tweeted: “Looks like ABC is playing politics with your show despite decent ratings. Sad.”
Many fans of the show are furious on social media and are calling for a boycott of the network.
I am furious! Just heard ABC canceled Last Man Standing! My husband and I love the show and Tim Allen. We will boycott ABC.
— Vickie Mealus (@VickieMealus) May 12, 2017
ABC U are f-ing liars… “Last Man Standing” is one of the most honest shows on TV. With real life lessons for teens & family’s. BOYCOTT
— JGP (@Gypsylarue) May 12, 2017
— Chris Lucas (@ChrisGaryL) May 12, 2017
There are four petitions on change.org begging ABC to re-consider their decision. Neither Allen nor the network have commented on the move, but ABC is understood to be citing the fact it doesn’t own The Last Man Standing (Fox produces the show) and the show’s aging viewer demographic to explain why it pulled the plug.
It is, however, also possible that it has do with ABC‘s reluctance to promote conservative politics on its network. It has been reported that Bob Iger, the longtime CEO of Disney, is flirting with an idea of running for president in 2020 as a Democrat.
He told The Hollywood Reporter back in June that “a lot of people—a lot—have urged me to seek political office,” but denied thinking about running for California governor or senator. (He didn’t deny the possibility of running for the White House.)
ABC’s beleaguered news division is also staunchly liberal. President Trump mocked ABC News “Chief Global Affairs Correspondent” Martha Raddatz (whose second of three weddings was attended by Barack Obama) for “crying” during election night coverage after it became clear Trump had won an historic victory.
“How about when a major anchor who hosted a debate started crying when she realized that we won?” Trump said during his “Thank You” tour in Cincinnati back in December.
(Raddatz has denied crying, though it certainly looked like it. Watch the video above)
Waterworks or no, ABC’s bias extends well beyond Raddatz. The network employs George Stephanopoulos, a former Bill Clinton operative, as its grandiosely titled “Chief Anchor and Chief Political Correspondent”. Stephanopoulos was exposed during the presidential campaign for having donated at least $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation, and therefore had to grudgingly recuse himself from moderating any debates. ABC enriches Stephanopoulos to the tune of more than $10 million a year.
Furthermore, ABC’s Chief Foreign Correspondent Terry Moran referred to President Trump’s inaugural address as reminiscent of the anti-Semitic rhetoric of 1930s Nazi Germany.
ABC came under fire last year for its failed sitcom The Real O’Neals which cruelly mocked Irish Catholics. The hopelessly homophobic fictional Irish Catholic family in the sitcom had a statue of the Blessed Virgin above their toilet and made Jesus-shaped pancakes for breakfast. The executive producer of The Real O’Neals, Dan Savage, on whose life the sitcom was based, is known for his obscene sex advice column, and for gaming Google search results on conservative Christian Senator Rick Santorum so that the first search result for “Santorum” was a page defining the Senator’s name as “a frothy mixture of lubricant and fecal matter as an occasional byproduct of anal sex.” Savage also famously once tried to sicken conservative activist Gary Bauer by licking the door handle to his motel room.
ABC also recently was fiercely criticized for mocking police and Middle America with its March gay rights miniseries When We Rise, which appeared to glorify the firebombing of police cars and overwhelmingly portrayed white, straight characters as ignorant, hateful rubes.
Unlike The Last Man Standing, When We Rise was a catastrophic ratings bomb.