GLAAD Slams ABC’s “Work It”

This January, ABC is set to debut it’s newest comedy, Work It, a show that finds two men struggling to find jobs in the economy as men and dress up as women to find employment. However, the people at GLAAD have something to say about it and the HRC is backing them up.

For starters, ABC has come leaps and bounds forward from where they used to be in representing the LGBT community. This year, they cast Chaz Bono, an active transgender advocate on Dancing With The Stars and even had a transgendered character on Ugly Betty. But now, have they gone too far when transgendered and transidentified issues are becoming more prevalent in the workplace across North America? Here is what GLAAD is saying.

“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. Transphobia is still all too prevalent in our society and this show will only contribute to it,” wrote GLAAD acting president Mike Thompson. “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.”
Matt Kane, GLAAD: Associate Director of Entertainment Media

Interestingly enough, Patrick, Brian and myself attended a discussion panel on Thursday addressing the issues of transidentity in the workplace and how more companies need to be aware of the situation and put policies in place to protect these individuals. While I have always been supportive of the trans community, it was eye opening to sit in on this discussion to learn just how difficult it can be for these folks. That being said, I can understand where GLAAD is coming from and why the trans community may be a bit offended.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) have formed a write-in protest campaign urging supporters to write into ABC with the following message: “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.”

“I’m a Brit, it is in my contract that I have to do one cross-dressing show a year,” said Paul Lee, ABC’s director of entertainment. GLAAD was happy to counter that statement saying, “Mr. Lee can recognize that there has been 40 years of progressive social change since Monty Python’s television heyday.” What is your stance on Work It? I’d love to hear your opinions and thoughts below.

  • ADAM

    how about stating the obvious this show looks awful and unfunny . this premise has always been stupid and should be banned . but HOLLYWEORD SEEMS to find this hilarious for some reason . then again they think allowing studio heads and prominent people sexually abuse others perfectly is ok too. ya see if all these so called upstanding rightous stars wouls start naming names all this B S would stop !

  • Carl

    What’s the big deal it’s a remake of the old tv show with Tom hanks the only diffrence is its in the work place and not a university dorm room. Stop complaining and find a real issue to protest.

  • Tyrell

    But Carl, don’t you think that society and issues regarding transgendered/transidentified people has changed dramatically in 25 years since that show first debuted? You have to put that into perspective as well.

  • Carl

    I agree it has come along way in the last 25 years. Would the same people be offended if was a girl acting like a guy to get a job? We would probably watch just to see what happens next.

  • timmy

    is it just me or is GLAAD a bit too touchy?
    I will agree with Carl on the girl-dress-as-a-guy-to-get-a-job remark. I betcha’ there wouldn’t be this much of a stir.

    I think, and please don’t get me wrong, that someone should pull that potato chip outta GLAAD’s behind (no pun intended). They’re defending us alright and we love them for that, but they are starting to remind me of conspiracy theorists here.

  • sean

    I’m offended by the fact that Hollywood can’t make str8 men look more like women. It’s been a long time since “Bosom Buddies” and even longer since “Tootsie.” These bitches is ugly as fuck. If I were a woman I’d be offended by these dogs as well. No offense to dogs.

    We live in a world where we have “Rupaul’s Drag Race,” “Andrej Pejic.” We all know men can look amazing in womens things.

  • HarryR

    Men dressing as women (& visa versa) has been a staple of comedy for, let’s see now, at least 3,000 years. Me thinks GLADD has been a bit too quick off the mark on this one. Let’s see the show first before we condemn. It could actually be good, both as comedy and exploring gender roles. Though from the few bits I’ve seen my guess it’ll die a quick death. Best not give it unwarranted publicity.

  • Kristian_Brandreth

    As a Transgender Male who worked hard threwout the years as a female to finaly rize to the pinicle of my profession as a Las Vegas executive at Aria Resort & Casino, this show was not funny and was in no way a fair portrayal of Transgender and transexual people such as myself. Some of us our not as lucky as myself to have the support of there bosses and a diversty program to prevent workplace discrimination against us transexuals or transgender individuals. Thank you MGM Mirage for your continued support to the gay community.