Martha Plimpton explains why her character on TV’s ‘The Real O’Neals’ is a homophobe
Martha Plimpton’s latest TV role is as the devout Irish Catholic mother of three children – including a gay teenage son – on the ABC sitcom The Real O’Neals.
I caught an episode last night for the first time and now officially love this show!
It’s a far cry from Plimpton’s previous sitcom, the terrific Raising Hope, and one that has run afoul with the Catholic League which has been critical of the show in an ad in The New York Times.
Plimpton is not surprised.
‘When anybody hears that it’s going to be a show about a Catholic family dealing with their gay son, they assume that we’re going to be making fun of Catholics, and it’s just not the case,’ the actress tells the Los Angeles Times. ‘What we’re making fun of is the fear.’
Her character of Eileen O’Neal was not exactly thrilled when her 16 year old son Kenny (played by Noah Galvin) came out as gay.
‘The character I play is a homophobe, but she’s a homophobe because she’s based her entire value system on her faith, a thing that’s given her an enormous sense of purpose, stability and spiritual comfort,’ Plimpton explains.
‘When you rely on something like that, and it tells you that anyone who is gay is going to burn in hell, you don’t want your son to burn in hell. That’s really where Eileen is coming from. It’s not coming from a place of hatred.
‘It’s my hope that when people see the show, they’ll understand that we’re not out to humiliate anyone who is coming from this perspective.’