Earlier this month, ABC announced it was canceling Tim Allen’s newest sitcom, “Last Man Standing” after six seasons of good ratings. According to Deadline.com, a Hollywood breaking news site, “Last Man Standing” had “very respectable” ratings for “any night and especially Friday.” The show regularly garnered 6 to 8 million viewers.
ABC’s cancellation of its second most popular sitcom came without any negotiation or notice, and some critics contend it’s because the sitcom’s main star, Tim Allen, is conservative and the character he plays espouses conservative Christian values.
Allen, an outspoken conservative, has publicly criticized the Hollywood left for its intolerance of conservatives. While ABC claims the show was cancelled because of cost, citing Tim Allen’s high salary and the fact that this season would have been the first time ABC had to pay licensing fees to 20th Century Fox, skeptics claim that “Last Man Standing” was a syndication hit, which would normally motivate most networks to renew it regardless of cost.
Likewise, ABC had no qualms about renewing its most popular sitcom, “Modern Family,” despite having to agree to significant salary increases for its six main stars. Critics are quick to observe that “Modern Family” is a much more liberal comedy than “Last Man Standing,” which focuses on a blue collar father who frequently takes jabs at the Clintons and Obamas and touts conservative Christian family values.
Allen has noted during several interviews that Hollywood is not receptive to conservatives, and he has talked openly about his support for U.S. President Donald Trump and the response he has received as a result. He compared Hollywood’s reaction to conservatives to “’30s Germany,” during an interview with late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, adding, “You’ve gotta be real careful around here. You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes.”
In an interview with Fox News’ Megyn Kelly, Allen even accused Hollywood of hypocrisy for its opposition to Trump on the grounds that Trump is an alleged bully.
“What I find odd in Hollywood is that they didn’t like Trump because he was a bully,” Allen told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. “But if you had any kind of inkling that you were for Trump, you got bullied for doing that. And it gets a little bit hypocritical to me.”
In response to the cancellation of “Last Man Standing,” at least five different petitions have been launched, one of which has received well over 300,000 signatures. That Change.org petition reads, “Last Man Standing is one of the only shows on broadcast television, and the only sitcom, that is not constantly shoving liberal ideals down the throats of the viewers. And sadly, that is likely the reason the show has been canceled.”
The Washington Examiner reports that a PetitionCongress.org petition has also been launched that reads, “With a plethora of ultra-liberal shows available on television, this show stood out from the rest and motivated conservatives who voted for President Trump. Please demand that Congress investigate whether LMS was canceled for political reasons,” said another on PetitionCongress.org.
Fans of “Last Man Standing” are hopeful that their efforts will force ABC to reverse its decision, or that perhaps the show may be picked up by another network. Regardless, they are not likely to believe that “Last Man Standing” was canceled for any other reason but political motivation.
“Last Man Standing” promotional image. Photo by Disney | ABC Television Group, 8 May, 2014, via Flickr.