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New ABC Show Sparks Controversy

Dec 19, 2011  •  Post A Comment

A new ABC show has come under fire from a number of organizations, reports EW.com’s Inside TV blog. Among those voicing disapproval are the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, according to the report.

The show is a comedy series called "Work It," about two men who dress like women in order to find jobs, reports EW.com’s Inside TV blog. The midseason series, which has yet to air, stars Ben Koldyke and Amaury Nolasco.

"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,” wrote Matt Kane, GLAAD’s associate director of entertainment media, according to the story.

The Human Rights Campaign has organized a write-in protest against the show, the piece adds. It’s urging supporters to send in this message to ABC: “Hundreds of thousands of transgender Americans face very real challenges in the workplace. … We have a shared responsibility to ensure the messages about gender identity we send to the public, and particularly youth, are positive ones. It is never appropriate to belittle or mock those who do not adhere to society’s gender norms or the struggles they face.”

"Work It" is scheduled to debut Jan. 3. ABC had no comment, the story says.

Other organizations that have reportedly criticized the show include the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center’s Transgender Economic Empowerment Program and the Transgender Law Center.

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10 Comments

  1. Wasn’t this show called ‘Bosom Buddies’ back in the 80’s?

  2. You’re almost completely right; the two had to live as women to live in a women’s residence. I don’t remember there being any controversy, and it sure didn’t hurt the career of an unknown named Tom Hanks.

  3. I remember watching it as a kid with my parents. Very funny and popular show at the time. Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari were great.

  4. Yeah — they need to stop all the “Oh no – we cant have men dressed as women because of transgender issues”…
    It’s 2011 folks..ya didnt have trouble back in the 1980’s with “Bosom Buddies” — do please get over yourselves!
    So do please Logo, cancel RuPaul! LOL
    Only reason they are kvetching is because it’s on regular TV and not cable.

  5. I’d like to know exactly what this show has to do with those groups criticizing it for badly reflecting on them.
    Simple cross-dressing? Really?
    I don’t think so. British actors and comics have had a lock on cross-dressing far longer than any of these groups have had an organized voice.

  6. Dear Milton Berle (and Tony Curtis & Jack Lemmon), What’s old is new again. Everybody else complaining, settle down.
    It’s comedy, not a documentary. Besides, no one has the right to not be offended by something in this world.

  7. Every niche group / subculture is going to complain if they see something that they perceive as being a blatant attempt to make fun of them or make them feel like second class citizens. I’m sure if there had been a medium like the internet back when Tom Hanks was wearing a dress so he could afford to live in the big city that there would have been a statement similar to this one at the time. I’ve got a transgendered drama project I’ve been working on for a while and one of the things that the TG community has had to deal with over the years has been that the “guy in a dress” gag has been a go-to for a cheap, easy laugh since Ogoola, the Caveman Playwright, threw on a leopard skin and fooled the rest of the hunters just to get close to the Chief’s young daughter.
    It’s not that the trans community doesn’t have a sense of humor; they’re more than happy to laugh about themselves and the world around them. The problem is usually that these ‘comedies’ usually turn out to be trainwrecks and spread a lot of misinformation about trans people in general.
    I am with you about RuPaul, though. I know a lots trans people I’ve worked with who would like to literally throw her under the bus.
    There’s a good comedy / dramedy or something to be made about transgendered people that a general audience could find themselves enjoying (like Davies’ “Queer As Folk”). I just have my doubts about whether this series is going to be it.

  8. Please, as a Christian and a conservative, I get offended with their behavior and it’s called a hate crime if I do. But the GLTG community gets offended with my beliefs and there the ones always screaming for us to be tolerate of them. God have mercy on them!

  9. People (even the freaks) are too sensitive nowadays…to quick to jump on a bandwagon for the publicity they receive. Keep it to yourself, you clowns. It’s a TV show fer crissake…not a government proclamation. Time to squat down and give it a break.

  10. One thing we can count on: this show will NOT be funny. The “poster” shown above guarantees it. So, the question is: Which show is cancelled faster? This or ROB on CBS.

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