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:
- 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.
- Workplaces can’t just refuse to hire someone based on gender – it’s illegal. Hello, Title VII?
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.