The group Catholic in Media Associates (CIMA) has awarded ABC hit show Modern Family its Best Television Show of 2012 award.
The awards, known as the Catholic Oscars (or in this case Emmys), seeks to recognize people and pieces of work that “uplift the spirit and help us better understand what it is to be part of the human family.” The group formed, it has said, to “counter the image of Catholics as people who criticize what they don’t like.”
The show has been a hit with audiences and critics alike who have praised its broad appeal and its ability to reflect the different kinds of families that exist in today’s world.
However, Modern Family has drawn the ire of religious conservatives and especially for its depiction of gay couple Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) who in the show are raising their adopted daughter. As such, not all were pleased with the CIMA award going to Modern Family.
Catholics in Media Associates — which presents the awards each year — is known for having “questionable, even controversial” honorees, said founding member Barbara Gangi, honorary chairwoman of the event. “Even among our own group!” she added.
This year was no exception. The ABC sitcom “Modern Family” was the 2012 recipient for the television series award, the most recent of dozens of awards it has received. Among the cast of characters is a gay male couple who has adopted a baby together. In reaction to this honoree choice, CIMA received volumes of angry letters.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first time CIMA has given out awards to shows that might be considered surprising. Past recipients include Glee and Ugly Betty.
CIMA president Haskell Vaughn Anderson III is quoted as saying the group’s mission is “not to criticize what we don’t like, but to praise what we do.”
Other recipients of the 2012 awards, handed out this past weekend, were perhaps less contentious. They included the documentary “I Am”, while Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” won the best motion picture award.
A majority of Catholics are increasingly accepting about LGBT identity and polls show that support among Catholics for issues like antidiscrimination legislation and even civil marriage equality continues to rise.