Sara Ramirez is not amused by a tone-deaf joke from ABC sitcom “The Real O’Neals”, with the former “Grey’s Anatomy” star taking to Twitter to slam a punchline mocking bisexuals.
Ramirez, who identities as bisexual and played a bi character on “Grey’s”, tweeted that she was “truly disheartened and disappointed” by the joke, asking her Twitter followers to sign a Change.org petition to “end biphobia and bi-erasure” on the show.
“I will invest my brand where I’m respected,” she added.
At issue is an episode that aired on Jan. 17, in which openly gay character Kenny (played by Noah Galvin) compared being bisexual to having “webbed toes” or “money problems.”
In subsequent tweets, Ramirez asked ABC to “own it, address it, clarify it.”
Ramirez also retweeted a Jan. 18 statement from the LGBTQ advocacy group PFLAG, which partnered on that particular episode. “We were so focused on the family acceptance portion of the episode that we completely missed the joke,” reads the statement “In hindsight, we should have caught it and we blew it. We should have done better and we will definitely do better next time. As allies we have a responsibility to own it when we mess up.”
Galvin also addressed the joke last month on Twitter, reports Entertainment Weekly, writing that the show “respects and loves the bi community,” and explaining the joke was about “a panicky teen expressing his ‘deepest fear’ which was his boyfriend leaving him for a girl.”
He added: “I am sorry if we offended anyone. I hope you know our show fights for visibility and inclusivity and we will do better in the future. BUT, we also have to remember, it’s a comedy.”