ABC Under Fire From LGBT For New Show “Work It”
While ABC has normally been family friendly in their programming, and sensitive to the idea of not offending their audience, their decision to run the new show "Work It" is surprising. The new mid-season show centers around two unemployed men who dress as women to find work. According to ABC.com,
This high-concept comedy centers on two unrepentant guy's guys who, unable to find work, dress as women to get jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Not only do they pull it off, but they might just learn to be better men in the process.
The idea of this show isn't a pleasant one to the people at the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Human Rights Campaign. Together, the two groups took out a full page ad in Tuesday's issue of "Variety" to express their feelings to ABC and their fear that the show will be making fun of transgender people. In the ad, titled "Message To ABC: 'Work It' Will Harm Transgender People", both groups praise ABC for their previous positive portrayals of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and trans-genders, but also point out the danger of a show like this,
"By encouraging the audience to laugh at the characters' attempts at womanhood, the show gives license to similar treatment of transgender women,"
GLAAD and HRC will also be meeting with ABC execs directly to discuss the show, which is slated to air on January 3rd. GLAAD has issued an official statement bashing the series and questioning if airing the series is worth the potential harm it could cause, while HRC has called for a boycott of the series.
In all honesty, I can understand GLAAD and HRC's standpoint on this and agree that there is a chance for backlash. But my biggest problem with the series is that it just doesn't look good. I will be surprised if it goes past its first season. The concept of two men masquerading as women, like Tom Hanks' old series "Bosom Buddies" (which only ran for 2 season, and the big secret was revealed to the other characters at the start of the second season), is good for a few laughs, but will dry up quickly over the run of a sitcom series.