ABC struck primetime gold when they debuted their hilarious series Modern Family. Since 2009, the show and its cast has been racking up accolades, including multiple Emmy awards and five Producers Guild of America Awards. Despite the show being a success and a leader on the Nielsen ratings, the series is no stranger to criticism, as it attempts to discuss some rather touchy subjects in the most PC way possible. Keep reading to see a few of the show’s most controversial moments.
9. Jewish Stereotypes
In the episode “Door to Door,” Manny (Rico Rodriguez), is selling Christmas wrapping paper in his neighborhood. With his step-dad Jay (Ed O’Neill) by his side, Manny asks a neighbor, “Hello, ma’am, do you love Christmas?” She answers, “Well actually, I’m Jewish.” Trying hard to be the best salesman he can be, Manny replies, “Well, then you must actually appreciate a good value!” Jay is completely mortified, as were many viewers who were disgusted that the dialogue would reference the stereotype of Jews being stingy and cheap. When it comes to Modern Family, there’s a no-holds-barred approach to comedy, and no ethnicity nor culture is exempt from being the brunt of a joke, but the negative and offensive representation of Jews pushed the envelope a bit too far for some viewers.
8. Openly Transgender Child Actor
Modern Family introduced an openly transgender child actor in an episode entitled, “A Stereotypical Day.” This was reportedly the first time a trans child actor would appear on network television, and the series had a huge responsibility to approach the topic gently. Eight-year-old trans actor Jackson Millarker, played the character Tom who befriended Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons). When her parents Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) overhear her call Tom a “weirdo,” it throws them for a loop and prompts them to teach her a lesson about tolerance and acceptance of others. In the end, producers and writers handled the scene with kitten gloves, and it humanized the young faces of children who have struggled with their own gender identities.