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ABC’s “Work It” should be Fired Immediately

One of the best cures for the post-holiday blues is the crop of new TV shows in January. One new show on ABC, “Work It”, is definitely going to boost us out of any blues – by making us see red.

According to ABC, “Work It” is:

 “A high-concept comedy about two unrepentant guy's guys who, unable to find work, dress as women to get jobs. Lee Standish is a quick-witted and likable family man. His best friend, Angel Ortiz, is a hotheaded ladies' man with no filter. The two of them worked at Pontiac -- Lee as a top salesman and Angel as head mechanic -- until the company went out of business. Out of work for a year, their job prospects don't look too bright. They've learned the hard way that the current recession is more of a "man-cession" and their skills aren't in high demand. Then the almost-broke Lee finds out that Coreco Pharmaceuticals is looking to hire sales reps -- female sales reps. He takes a chance and goes into the interview dressed in heels, a skirt and make-up. The transformed Lee gets hired -- as a woman.”

One measly paragraph and we already know this show will be infuriating. Let us give you five reasons why:

  1. The facts are wrong: While men lost more jobs than women during the recession, women have lost jobs during the recovery while men have gained.
  2. Workplaces can’t just refuse to hire someone based on gender – it’s illegal. Hello, Title VII?
  3. It has offensive ethnic stereotypes: The white guy is “quick-witted”, “likable”, and “a top salesman” while the Latino is a “hotheaded ladies’ man with no filter” and the “head mechanic”? Really? We mean, really?
  4. It has offensive gender stereotypes: They are “guy’s guys” - which seemingly means insensitive and uncaring – like their drinking buddy, Brian. And the women in the office are (1) naïve, (2) a party girl, (3) icy, (4) the boss. At least there is a female boss – about the only redeeming thing in this show.
  5. It is offensive to trans people: Individuals who are painfully, hopefully, courageously living their authentic identity and who are discriminated against because of it, particularly in the workplace, deserve applause, not laugh tracks.

 

We’re not worried that this show will be successful – we don’t think America can stomach this – but it is infuriating that it has even seen the light of day. Somehow we’re not so sure this show will be the “smart, funny and relevant look at male and female relationships at work, at home and socially” it claims to be. But don’t just take our word for it – watch the promo clip below.

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AMA-Doctor Shows

Think about it. Does one every hear the AMA (American Medical Association complaining about how doctors are portrayed by the media?

Double Standard-Women's College

Since deeds speak louder than words, is it not hyprocrisy for women to claim "harassment' for mere words yet openly bar men merely due to their gender from tax-supported educational institutions.

A tweet from "Workit"

All you girls need is a nice trip to the salon! And to watch #WorkIt on January 3rd!

Thank you NWLC !

As national LGBT leader and a transsexual business woman I've been writing about the insensitivity of ABC's "Work It" since last month. It is now good to see that organizations are taking up the lead. This show is an affront to women in the workplace, those born women and those of us who were born in the wrong body and transitioned.

Yea that's pretty offensive

And I'm glad they're going through with it. The fact that we can have something that offensive on television is a win for democracy no matter how you look at it. I'm a liberal, I'm all for equal rights for all human beings, etc. But I'm also consistently liberal in that I'm thankful we all have the CHOICE to create what we want to create and everyone else has the CHOICE to enjoy it or not. If you don't like the show, change the channel. Don't be a hypocrite.

There's a difference...

There's a sizeable difference between "what they have a right to do" and "what is right to do." Just because you CAN doesn't mean it doesn't mean it's not a bad move that will hurt a bunch of people.

As a transwoman...

As a transwoman that works at an office for a major company, I can tell you it's difficult, and i found myself sighing and shaking my head when I saw this show's advertisements. Understandably, the trans community is pretty upset about it. You're absolutely right - it's FRIGHTENING every day for us. We live in a scary world that doesn't accept us, and the fact that I'm quite accepted as I am in my office environment is a miracle exception, not the rule.

I did write a letter to ABC about this show, and posted it on my blog. It outlines in calm, constructive terms why this show is such a slap in the face to transpeople - both men and women - everywhere, and how it will harm the small amount of acceptance we've been able to gain.

You can find the blog post at http://www.suddenly-sara.com/2011/12/letter-to-abc-regarding-work-it.html

Sara, thank you so much for

Sara, thank you so much for sharing your story with us. It astounds me that "Work It" is moving forward, despite these obvious grievances with it. Your letter to ABC is great, and definitely does a good job of explaining one of the big reasons why this show is so offensive. We've retweeted it to our followers - hopefully it'll give them some more insight on this issue!

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