by Phil Phillips - Wednesday, May 24, 2017
“What’s genius about ‘Last Man Standing’ is we have a very liberal-bent group that writes this and no one makes fun of liberals better than liberals when they're on their game and there’s not many conservatives in this group that write. But what we like to do is have fun with it."
-Actor Tim Allen, star of ABC’s “Last Man Standing,” to Fox News’ host Sean Hannity, Sept. 24, 2016
As reported by countless sources from Entertainment Weekly, Time magazine and the Washington Post to TV and radio talk shows, ABC stunned viewers on May 10 when it announced it is cancelling its No. 2-rated show, “Last Man Standing.” The wholesome, funny Friday-night sitcom, launched in 2011, was a hit for ABC based on star Tim Allen’s character—quick-witted, conservative family man Mike Baxter, marketing director of a Denver, Colo., hunting, fishing and outdoor/sporting goods store called the Outdoor Man. Episodes include “Outdoor Man” product video blogs that ultimately lead to spouting off about how manliness and the outdoor lifestyle are under attack, all delivered through Allen’s self-described blunt “man’s man” comedy. Surrounded by forces that challenge his beliefs, this iconic American dad addresses current events from the environment to Obamacare. One episode revolved around political correctness regarding his speech at his daughter’s college campus. Another had him dressing as President Donald Trump for Halloween.
Just two months prior to ABC’s decision, Allen, a hunter and outdoor enthusiast himself, was interviewed by late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Allen jokingly compared being a Republican in Hollywood and supporting President Trump to life in 1930s Germany. “You’ve gotta be real careful around here,” he explained. “You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes … if you’re not part of the group, ‘You know, what we believe is right.’ I go, ‘Well, I might have a problem with that.’ I’m a comedian, I like going on both sides.”
Allen had previously told Fox News, “What I find odd in Hollywood is that they didn’t like Trump because he was a bully. But if they had any inkling that you were for Trump, you got bullied. And it gets a bit hypocritical for me.”
It’s refreshing to listen to Allen’s character get his points across, leaving viewers like me wondering how anyone could argue—if you’re fortunate enough to have common sense. So when I shared the LMS news on Facebook with my 5,000 friends, I received countless replies saying, “Oh, no, that is my favorite show.” Other Facebook posts and news stories noted that in defending ABC’s decision to cancel the show, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said the network was removing other politically-based shows as well as comedies from the Friday night lineup. But as ABC’s second-ranked show, accounting for 8-million-plus viewers, couldn’t executives find another night that would be the right fit for LMS? Okay, we’ll watch it on Wednesdays.
Conservatives continue to stand by Allen including Wisconsin’s Governor Scott Walker, who, upon hearing the news on May 11, tweeted to Allen, "Looks like @ABC is playing politics with your show despite decent ratings. Sad."
Fortunately, LMS fans can find reruns on cable and satellite TV networks such as CMT and the Hallmark Channel—accounting for 18 airings just today. I’m hoping another network will pick up the show or that Tim Allen will start a new sitcom with a similar slant. But maybe things are already turning around, thanks to social media. I just shared a Facebook post from nationonenews.com saying “sources at the FOX network suggest the show will move to FOX and its affiliates.” LMS is actually owned by 20th Century Fox—not ABC—so there is a chance Tim Allen will be the last man standing.
In the meantime, fans have started an online petition that already has 380,000-plus signatures from viewers pledging to boycott the network if the decision is not overturned that reads:
“Last Man Standing stands out in the sea of network television sitcoms. It is a show that appeals to a broad swath of Americans who find very few shows that extol the virtues with which they can identify, namely conservative values. Last Man Standing was not just selling conservative ideals though, as some of the characters in the show are clearly of the liberal persuasion, yet the characters on the show all manage to get along and take care of one another, despite their politically opposed views … 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 real reason the show has been cancelled.”
How the LMS Scenario Parallels the Culture War on Out Hunting Traditions
Actor, avid hunter and outdoorsmen Tim Allen is up front about being targeted for his conservative political views. While such behavior is typical of the liberal media and the Hollywood elite, have you noticed these attacks on free speech and conservative values are increasing as we hunters, too, are facing increased persecution from liberal, anti-hunting extremists? That’s because we regularly fight the same people, all of whom use shame and ridicule as tools in a culture war.
Far from the fringe element they were in the 1970s and 1980s, today’s anti-hunters are an extremist minority set on destroying all hunting. Headed by the Humane Society of the United States and radical groups like PETA, they lie and distort the facts to try and sway public opinion while trying to mold and recruit out own children to propagandize their cause.
This is why the NRA is heavily invested in saving hunting’s future. No other group has the firepower to go on offense and take the fight to the front lines. In addition to the NRA’s 24/7 efforts in the legislative and political arena, in 2014 the NRA launched the NRA Hunters’ Leadership Forum (HLF) to address the challenges facing hunters and hunting in the 21st century. In 2016 it launched this NRA HLF hunter-advocacy website—NRAHLF.org—to cover the state, national and global issues threatening the future of hunting and to tell the positive stories about what we hunters do for wildlife conservation. And last month it rolled out a new “NRA Hunting” campaign featuring compelling TV ads and pro-hunting messaging all housed on NRAHUNTING.com.
So in spite of the fight ahead, don’t you feel just that much more confident and empowered knowing the NRA has our backs as we stand together to reclaim the narrative?
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