Ed O'Neill Dismisses 'Modern Family' Gay Kiss Controversy

08/05/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The ABC sitcom's critics have noted that its gay couple, Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), has not been shown kissing (or engaging in much public display of affection, for that matter), even though the program hasn't been shy about showing liplocks between Mitchell's sister, Claire (Julie Bowen), and her husband, Phil (Ty Burrell). ABC has said the reticence is Mitchell's, not the network's, and that his squeamishness over PDA will be addressed in a future episode. That hasn't mollified the more than 12,000 Facebook petitioners (so far) who are demanding a Mitchell-Cameron kiss.

O'Neill, who plays Mitchell and Claire's father, Jay, addressed the controversy in an interview with PopEater. Calling from his Los Angeles home, he said he finds the complaint "half amusing, half annoying." He noted that we haven't seen Jay and his sexy young wife, Gloria (Sofia Vergara) kiss either. And, after 20 years of appearances in controversial comedies, O'Neill said that he sees such protests as just another form of show business, not to be taken seriously.

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