Some major LGBTQ advocacy and watch dog group are up in arms about the soon to premiere new ABC television situation comedy, “Work It”. The show, set to debut January 3, 2012 concerns two out of work heterosexual men who don female attire to acquire jobs as pharmaceutical reps. Both HRC and GLAAD have issued formal protests with ABC about the show, claiming it’s offensive to the LGBTQ community in general, and the Trans community in particular.
During a period in which the transgender community now routinely finds itself in the cultural crosshairs, the timing couldn’t be worse for a show based on the notion that men dressed as women is inherently funny. In fact, shows like this have the power to put the transgender community in an even more dangerous position.
GLAAD has seen the pilot and while the show’s pilot does not explicitly address transgender people, many home viewers unfamiliar with the realities of being transgender will still make the connection. Work Itinvites the audience to laugh at images of men trying to adopt a feminine appearance, thereby also making it easier to mock people whose gender identity and expression are different than the one they were assigned at birth. Said GLAAD’s Acting President Mike Thompson, “Transphobia is still all too prevalent in our society and this show will only contribute to it. It will reinforce the mistaken belief that transgender women are simply ‘men pretending to be women,’ and that their efforts to live their lives authentically as women are a form of lying or deception.”
We haven’t seen the show, only the ads for it and while we do think some members of the community and some groups that represent us can be overly sensitive and prone to attacks of ultra political correctness, we sort of agree with the naysayers about “Work It”. Not so much for the insensitivity, as for the fact the show just looks ultra shitty, stupid and not funny. Don’t believe us? Check out the shitty, shitty promo for the show:
Also: “Bosom Buddies” starring Tom Hanks, Peter Scolari, Wendy Jo Sperber and Holland Taylor did the same thing over thirty years ago but it was actually pretty funny.