NBC drops plans for mail-order bride sitcom amid protests

LOS ANGELES (AP) — NBC says it has dropped plans for a sitcom about a widower who orders a mail-order bride from the Philippines.

Protests had greeted the network's decision last week to develop "Mail Order Family," with an online petition drawing more than 12,000 signers as of Saturday.

In a statement, NBCUniversal said it bought the comedy pitch with the understanding it would tell creator Jackie Clarke's real-life experience of being raised by a "strong Filipina stepmother."

The writers and producers have "taken the sensitivity to the initial concept to heart" and won't move forward with the project, the network said.

Gabriela USA, a women's rights group, circulated the anti-show petition on Moveon.org. The group said the mail-order bride industry exploits and traffics in poor women and condemns NBC for "making light" of the issue.