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Despite trying to rebuild their comedy brand, NBC has put a stop to one of their developing comedies. The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that the network will not be moving forward with Mail Order Family, a comedy about a man who hires a Filipina mail order bride to help take care of his children after his wife dies.
Deadline reported that the show was first put into development on Sept. 28. The plans to develop the comedy were scrapped two days later.
Had Mail Order Family been ordered to series, it would have been written and produced by Jackie Clarke, the creator of the show. Ruben Fleischer would have served as the executive producer and director of the show. Both Clarke and Fleischer work on NBC’s Superstore, which is in the beginning of its second season and was picked up for a full second season.
After the development of the pilot was nixed, an NBCUniversal spokesperson released a statement, saying “We purchased the pitch with the understanding that it would tell the creator’s (Jackie Clarke) real-life experience of being raised by a strong Filipina stepmother after the loss of her own mother. 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.”
Following the announcement that the show had been put into development, NBC received harsh criticism from people on Twitter, including many people calling for the show to be scrapped and started petitions. Twitter users also used “#CancelMailOrderFamily” as a way to voice their displeasure.
— Karyl Agana (@K_agana) September 30, 2016
One of the petitions, from Change.org, said that “Mail Order Family is the most recent example of how the exploitation and violence women face is normalized in U.S. mainstream media. The mail order bride industry in the Philippines is rooted in historical U.S. colonial occupation of the Philippines, feudal-patriarchal view of Filipinas, and current neo-colonial economic policies that have impoverished the Filipino people.”
The petition currently has over 13,000 signatures. The woman who started the petition, Irma Salvatierra Bajar, is the chairwoman of Gabriela USA, an organization that helps free oppressed women from the Philippines, has the petition set up to get 15,000 signatures from people.