Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Kelli Busey the creator of the Care2 petition ABC Do Not Air the Sitcom “Work It.” The show “Work It,” which premiers on January 3rd, features two “guy’s guys” who find themselves without work due to the tanking economy. Faced with continuing unemployment, they dress in drag to get hired at an all-female pharmaceutical company. Read on to find out why the LGBTQI community has serious problems with the this new show.
My life since transition is sustained by low-paying, menial jobs, where every day my right to life is up for debate and attack. While taking breaks at my second part-time job, I got my 1st and 2nd doses of Work It commercials.
The commercials for Work It revolted me.
Earlier in my activist career that would have been all I needed to take action, but I’m older and really wanted an opinion from a larger swath of our community so I posted the commercial on my Facebook. Since most of my 4500 friends are of the same mindset as I about this sort of thing, their reaction was one I expected.
Transgender, Genderqueer, questioning and Intersexxed and the few drag queens I know were revolted.
But I still needed a better consensus, so I went to twitter and queried “ABC Work It.” I was surprised to see that drag artists shared my opinion of Work It. They found that the caricatures representing cross dressers, a close cousin of theirs under the Trans umbrella, ridiculous to the point of sickening.
Drag queens are revolted by Work It.
What about our cisgender allies? Lesbians, gays and straights? Again I searched google and twitter. Our cisgender allies and those who know nothing of LGBTQI people are revolted.
So it is unanimous, everyone was revolted by the Work It concept except a few ABC execs. And now we need the world to take a stand against Work It.
The President of ABC, Paul Lee and actress Rebecca Mader have both defended ABC’s Work It against this overwhelming criticism. But the best either could do was to excuse and validate it as Monty Python, Benny Hill British style of humor. However, neither could or would dare to speak to its potentially disastrous effect on transgender lives. Both knew that Work It in truth is indefensible.
What really broke the camel’s back was the straw Paul Lee threw on: Lee said he didn’t care if or why anyone opposed the concept of Work It as long as it made him “cackle with laughter.” So in essence, Paul Lee believes the promotion of our degradation, humiliation and discrimination potentially resulting in violent acts against us is fine if it reminds him of British humor. And if Work It makes him money and saves his job, the world can “piss off” as the Brits say.
A couple comments made on the petition really confirm my belief that the world is revolted by Work It:
“It’s important because I’m a human being who doesn’t think other human beings should be discriminated against.”
“Some of the dearest people in my life are transgendered or Genderqueer, and I’ve heard time and again their struggles in a binary-focused and transphobic world. Shows like this do little to help them.”
“I am not transgender, nor do I know anyone who is, but I am an intelligent human being and I can clearly see how this show mocks them and their culture. ABC should be ashamed of themselves for this.”
“United Kingdom: I am an FTM, as is my boyfriend, and this is absolutely disgusting. I’ve never experienced such hatred personally, but to make such a mockery of people’s struggles is wrong.”
“Horrible idea for a show; really, men take a job that is litterally [sic] meant for a woman when we earn less per dollar then they do. Seriously, you couldn’t think of better idea for a show?”
“I am a transgender and I would rather television not give people at my school more excuses to torture me.”
Paul Lee, the world is calling out with a louder and louder voice thanks to Care2. Do the right thing. Do not air Work It!
Do you think “Work It” is offensive? Watch the trailer below:
Photo is a screenshot from trailer, no infringement intended