As Dr. Callie Torres, who came out as bisexual during her 10-year stint on Grey's Anatomy, actress Sara Ramírez helped bring diversity and awareness to ABC. Now, she's taking her former network to task in response to a tone-deaf joke about bisexuality made on one of its current hit shows. That show is The Real O'Neals, in which the January 17 episode had a character compare being bisexual to having "webbed toes" or "money problems." "Oh, God," Kenny, the openly gay teen played by Noah Galvin, says. "Here we go. Webbed toes? Money problems? Or worse... bisexual?!" Ramirez — who, like her former character, identifies as a bisexual woman — has taken to Twitter to float a petition protesting the show. The Tony-winning star added that she was "disheartened and disappointed" that ABC, her employer from 2006 to 2016, was engaging in "biphobia."
WORDS MATTER.PLEASE SIGN this petition 2 @ABCNetwork protesting biphobia in @TheRealONeals: https://t.co/TkyT5ICtgo @StillBisexual ???#LGBTQ— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) February 16, 2017
And as someone who worked 4 them 4 10 years+,am truly disheartened & disappointed quite frankly.I will invest my brand where I'm respected. https://t.co/NQQAPDsFlU— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) February 16, 2017
Dear @ABCNetwork @TheRealONeals :own it,address it,clarify it,empower our #Queer #Bisexual youth & community w/accurate positive reflections— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) February 16, 2017
LGBTQ rights group PFLAG, which partnered on the Real O'Neals episode, issued a statement on January 18 apologizing for not catching the joke. “We were so focused on the family acceptance portion of the episode that we completely missed the joke,” the group's statement said. “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 responded with an apology via Twitter last month. “I am sorry if we offended anyone," the actor, who is openly gay in real life, tweeted, according to Entertainment Weekly. "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.” Ramírez, however, is waiting for ABC to speak up.
& while @PFLAG response was amazing,where is network's response?The actor's response wasn't enough 4 me.@ABCNetwork was in the same room. https://t.co/AwjPWPJk5B— Sara Ramirez (@SaraRamirez) February 16, 2017