The episode, entitled “Traditional Mother,” is about a stereotypical gay couple who wishes to be married in a church/mosque shared by the Anglican and Muslim community. While several characters in the episode are supportive of the campy couple, others aren’t. Feeling unwelcome, the couple leaves for Toronto.
Cute plot, no?
Well, after the episode aired last February, an anonymous complainant filed a grievance with the CRTC, saying that the CBC was “vilifying and portraying homosexuals as being unimportant plus stupid,” and that they “showed the world how to harass homosexuals […] under the guise of comedy.”
Now, I understand that it’s not in good taste to play up campy gay stereotypes for comedy when gay people still experience real harm, but I have to side with the CRTC and CBC. Everyone portrayed in Mosque is an exaggerated caricature, and gay people aren’t going to be the exception. Plus, if having fictional anti-gay characters were an actionable offense, I’d be in pretty big trouble myself.
So, I’ll come out and say it: I’m generally tolerant of comedic fictional intolerance. Not that I’m necessarily endorsing Mosque, mind you. Carlo Rota, one of Mosque’s actors, ridiculed my team during a commercial break on the set of Test The Nation. Although… He was also a recurring character in Queer as Folk, so maybe he gets a second chance.
- CRTC Finds No ‘Abusive Comments’ in CBC’s Little Mosque on the Prairie [Broadcaster Magazine]
- CRTC Ruling [Little Mosque Blog]