After watching the preview of ABC's new mid-season sitcom Work It, is easy to see why the show is already offending everyone even though it hasn't even aired yet. It's sexist. It's racist. It's insensitive to transgender women. And it looks oppressively unfunny.
The premise of the show is of two men who dress up as women to obtain jobs as sales reps at a pharmaceutical company — because, you know, women have been finding jobs much more easily than men during this economic slump (…except that they haven't). So they try to fit in by doing womanly things, like taking the lettuce out of a hoagie to eat for lunch and throwing the rest of the sandwich out. If that's not hilarious enough for you, the pilot also includes such zingers as, "I'm Puerto Rican. I would be great at selling drugs," and, "We find the doctors prefer to 'nail' the drug reps more when they are girls."
Besides picking on all of the usual suspects — women and minorities — it's pretty obvious that by sanctioning viewers laughing at men attempting to look and act like women, Work It will be especially harmful to the transgender community. And yesterday, GLAAD and HRC took out a full-page ad in Variety calling on ABC to kill the show before it airs, stating:
"Since ABC has a record of positive portrayals of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, they should know how offensive this show is, and that it even has the potential to jeopardize the safety of many transgender Americans in the process.
Transgender Americans — who can be legally fired in 34 states today simply for being who they are — face an inordinate amount of workplace discrimination that images like those on Work It perpetuate. In fact, 97% of self-identified transgender people reported being harassed or abused at work, and 26% — that’s one in four — reported losing their jobs because they are transgender."
I would be very surprised if Work It didn't get canceled immediately anyway, so it looks like they've got a get-out-of-jail-free card here. If I were ABC, I'd take it and run. It's embarrassing enough for this country that a network like FOX is always ahead in the ratings, and that even on Christmas, they can't shut up about it.