NBC scraps 'mail-order bride comedy' amid protests

Mail Order Family would have centered on a mail-order bride from the Philippines who helps a widowed father raise his two preteen daughters

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The Independent Culture

In a rare sign of TV networks actually listening and acting on the public's feedback, The Hollywood Reporter states NBC has scrapped plans for its comedy Mail Order Family

Centering on a mail-order bride from the Philippines who helps a widowed father raise his two preteen daughters, the show took its basis from the real-life experiences of comedian Jackie Clarke, receiving an understandable level of backlash for appearing to normalise human trafficking under the show's banner of "family comedy", with zero Asian American writers having been hired for the project. 

Nerds of Color points out that Clarke's own real-life experiences with her stepmother were far from harmonious; with the marriage ending unhappily when her stepmother rejected Clarke's attempts at closeness, and later divorced her father after discovering he had a secret family in the Philippines. Clarke's father himself eventually abandoned his children to live with his new family in the Philippines. 

NBC were swift to act on the backlash at least, cancelling the show two days after its announcement; following widespread social media criticism, and a petition for its cancellation which stated that the, "human trafficking and the exploitation of Asian women is no joke." 

"We purchased the pitch with the understanding that it would tell the creator's real-life experience of being raised by a strong Filipina stepmother after the loss of her own mother," an NBCUniversal spokesperson said in a statement. "The writer and producers have taken the sensitivity to the initial concept to heart and have chosen not to move forward with the project at this time."

The series was set to be written and produced by Clarke, with Ruben Fleischer onboard as executive producer and director. 

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