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ABC Chief Doesn't 'Get' Anger Over Cross-Dressing Comedy 'Work It'

ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee doesn't "get" why LGBT groups are calling for the cancelation of the network's cross-dressing comedy Work It:

Workit"In terms of the lesbian and gay community, we're incredibly proud of the work that ABC does," he told TheWrap. "That's not just 'Modern Family,' it's 'Grey's Anatomy,' it's 'Private Practice,' it's 'Dancing With the Stars.' But in that particular case... I didn't really get it. I love 'Tootsie.' ... I still love 'Tootsie.' I don't find it to be offensive. So in that particular case I didn't get it."

Wrote GLAAD in mid-December:

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 It invites 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.”

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  1. It's transgender "blackface"

    Posted by: Edgar | Jan 11, 2012 12:26:11 AM

  2. Wow. 26 comments and only ONE person gets it? Yes, Edgar. It's trans 'blackface'. And I simply LOVE the comments "what about Tootsie" and "what about Bosom Buddies"? Um, you realize that those were THIRTY YEARS AGO, right? We also don't have Archie Bunker talking about fags on network tv anymore. It's called progress you fools. And trans people don't need to be your f*cking punchline anymore. Want to laugh at a man in a dress? Go see a drag queen - and for those of you comparing this to RuPaul's Drag Race, that's a reality show where they are openly gay and often talk about what they've gone through to come out and deal with the types of oppression that most of you are reinforcing towards the Trans community. GET A DAMN CLUE.

    Posted by: wtf | Jan 11, 2012 12:58:55 AM

  3. Yes, think the show will fail as we all know the concept is dated and America has progessed. The idea someone has quit watchin ABC as a network is minimal. ABC has been including gay characters as in Brothers and Sisters, Modern Family and even though all those actors may not be gay I am proud to see at least our community is being represented. Gays in the last century on television just did not happen in a positive manner.

    Posted by: Chance | Jan 11, 2012 5:17:35 AM

  4. Honestly I don't think it's offensive either, but I'm not transgendered I'm gay I may be missing something.

    Posted by: MKe | Jan 11, 2012 6:45:26 AM

  5. "WTF" obviously doesn't get it. Just because a guy puts on a dress doesn't mean it's about transgendered folks. Actually, 99% of the time it isn't. So...unbunch your panties/boxers/tightiewhities, have a beer, and relax.

    This reminds me of the Peter and the Wolf fable. The trans community is going to cry wolf so many times on non-issues, than when a real issue arises, they'll be ignored.

    Posted by: jay_max | Jan 11, 2012 9:29:54 AM

  6. Will we expect GLAAD to protest future productions of Twelfth Night, The Merchant of Venice, and Charley's Aunt?

    Posted by: Rick | Jan 11, 2012 10:29:35 AM

  7. I watched the show and will continue to watch it, it's funny enough and a distraction from work and life. I do see GLAD's point and I get where they're coming from but at the same time this show handles the issue in a PC way unlike other drag comedies of yore. It's not great for the trnasgender community for people to laugh at men dressed like women, I get that, but at the same time the show is funny enough so I'm split. But will still watch.

    Posted by: Adam | Jan 11, 2012 2:15:04 PM

  8. The trannies are really getting out of line. The worst part of this is that GLAAD and ABC now seem to confusing gay issues and transgender issues. Gay people do not care about this, only transgender people do. It has nothing to do with gay people or sexual orientation issues.

    Posted by: DB | Jan 11, 2012 2:19:46 PM

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