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School Chief Says 'American Housewife' Norwalk Jokes Are No Laughing Matter

A scene from the pilot of ABC's "American Housewife."
A scene from the pilot of ABC's "American Housewife." Photo Credit: ABC/Eric McCandless

NORWALK, Conn. – Roughly half the comments on a recent story about Andy Ross's petition to get ABC's "American Housewife" to stop making jokes about Norwalk believe that Ross is being a "snowflake," and that he is too sensitive when it's only humor. The other half, however, agrees with him.

So, too, does the superintendent of Norwalk Public Schools.

In a letter released Friday, Norwalk Superintendent Steven J. Adamowski, Ph.D, asks ABC Entertainment Group President Channing Dungey to stop the Norwalk jokes.

“I’m writing to let you know that the insults about Norwalk children on a national network TV are not funny,” wrote Adamowski. “Rather, they are pejorative, demeaning and divisive.

“Simply put, we are not who you seem to think we are. Our city’s rich diversity is a key part of our strength... Norwalk is a wonderful place to raise a family.”

Related story: Stop the Norwalk jokes, says local resident, to ABC's "American Housewife"

“Some people here have pointed to your show as yet another example of the divisive national discourse. Parents are disappointed that a network that positions itself as a leader in family friendly entertainment would stoop to insulting children in the name of comedy. I’m not sure what the rationale would be for deliberately targeting an entire community instead of creating a fictional one, but I do know it is hurtful and harmful.”

Ross is quite pleased with the reaction he’s received to his petition and with Adamowski's response. “A few people think I should lighten up, but 99.9 percent of the comments – and I’ve received over 300 – are in agreement with me.”

The Norwalk resident has spoken to Mayor Harry Rilling and is awaiting the city’s formal reply. Once that is available, Ross hopes to present it to ABC along with Adamowski’s letter and his own petition with its comments.

“The bottom line is, it’s not like we’re asking ABC to pull the show, we’re asking for these comments – a minor part of their show – to stop. It’s not going to hurt them in their pocketbook," Ross said.

“After all, they’re Disney, a family channel.”

To read Adamowski’s full statement, visit Norwalk Public Schools . For Paul Ross’ petition, visit www.stoptheinsults.com .

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