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Sitcom Work It Insulting To Transgendered People

| Filed under: TV NewsGay Gay GayLGBT

The new sitcome, Work It, has been angering equality activists across the board.

The show, if you haven't seen the above trailer, is about two guys that decide that they have to dress as women to get jobs. They come to the conclusion that women are in more demand than men, so they do it to escape unemployment.

Here's what's being said:

Drian Juarez, project manager for the Transgender Economic Empowerment Program at Los Angeles's Gay and Lesbian Center:

"What is clearly intended to be a humorous promotional ad for the show depicts the two lead characters, dressed as women, standing at a urinal. Sadly, it’s very common for people to promote fear of sharing the bathroom with transgender people as a means to further their prejudice. We’re frequently portrayed as sexual predators using the bathroom to make sexual advances."

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign:

"We've seen a lot of offensive things on TV over the years, but this really takes the cake. The so-called 'comedy' of Work It is based on the premise that male-bodied people who unsuccessfully attempt to present themselves as women are worthy of ridicule. The problem is that most transgender women find themselves in this situation, at least temporarily, during their transition process. And due to the prohibitively high costs of transition-related medical care and widespread insurance inequities, many may be visibly transgender for their entire lives.

"By emphasizing the artificiality of the lead characters' femininity through depictions of them putting on makeup and feminine clothing, for example, Work It makes similar implications about the nature of transgender women's identities and their ways of expressing them, reinforcing the erroneous popular notion that transgender women are not 'real' women. By encouraging the audience to laugh at the characters' failed attempts at womanhood, the show condones similar treatment of visibly transgender women. Unfortunately, such prejudiced behavior needs no encouragement; 53% of self-identified transgender people reported having been the victim of verbal harassment or abuse in a public place. ABC should not air this show — plain and simple. At the very least, Work It is offensive and insulting. At worst, the show is downright dangerous and sends a message that transgender people are meant to be laughed at, or are somehow less-than. This show would be a tremendous setback for transgender Americans, and everyone who believes that all people deserve to be treated with respect and dignity."

Masen Davis, executive director of Transgender Law Center:

"Transgender people and anyone who doesn't fit narrow gender stereotypes experience high rates of discrimination and bias in the workplace. The humor shouldn't have to depend on negative portrayals of who folks who are already having a hard time on the job."

Wow! Lots of people are really upset!

We agree that it's offensive for it's disregard for transgendered feelings, but also for the fact that it just looks plain stupid. There is not one joke that lands.

Do U think it's offensive??

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49 comments to “Sitcom Work It Insulting To Transgendered People”

  1. 1

    So men who dress up as women are mad at other men who dress up as women???
    Gay/trans ppl want equal rights but only they have the right to dress up as women, Besides actual women?

  2. 2

    I watched the trailer and the only thing I found offensive is that it wasn't funny. This is a re-hash of Bosom Buddies, Tootsie, etc. This isn't about transgendered people at all, so why are they trying to jump on a non-existant bandwagon? The show looks lame, unfunny and outdated, that's all.

  3. 3

    I thought it was funny =\

  4. 4

    Come on!!! Can't both sides just see the humour instead of politicalizing Every.God.Damn Thing?

  5. 5

    Trannies aren't real people so it's hard to care about their feelings.

  6. yeez says – reply to this


    Jesus Christ, slow week for actual discrimination?

  7. 7

    gmafb! Maybe they should all be pissed at Tom Hanks too. 1980 Bosom Buddies - they needed an apartment so they dressed as women.

  8. 8

    It's a damn Busom Buddies remake. It wasn;t controversial then and it shouldn't be now. When did every fucking thing become a political statement. Can't we just enjoy slapstick comedy? I think Perez is just posting bullshiz like this to stir people up and get rack up hits.

  9. Beccx says – reply to this


    This show is just a new spin/redo for a show from the 80s that was called Bossom Buddies. It's funny and I don't think trannys should be offended. It's not like the guys really want to be women. They want to work. Now would this consept work if the white guys were in blackface? Probably not.

  10. 10

    I suppose they're all out protesting every time anyone screens Some Like it Hot as well. Silly bitches.

  11. 11

    Google "Bosom Buddies". Now google "Tootsie". Now shut the fuck up.

  12. 12

    Oh get over it already! GLADD complains (in a very Bully, do-it-our-way-or-else, manner) its community is NOT treated like everyone else and then complains when they ARE treated like every one else. News flash, GLADD: You aren't special, you aren't immune to be made fun of in a SITCOM (for gawdsake!), like everyone else. Pretend to be adults, and grow up!

  13. 13

    No one cares that this group has their panties in a knot.

  14. 14

    Re: Beccx – Actually it has been done before where a white man was painted as a Black man. Have you not seen Robert Downey Jr. in Tropic Thunder? And I do not think anyone protested against it. I found it funny.

  15. 15

    Since when is someone who simply dresses as the opposite sex considered "transgendered", I thought they were transvestites. Aren't there a thousand different Lounge Acts were straight men dress up as women? At least they claim to be straight. You better go protest a ton vegas shows then.

  16. 16

    Equality is incredibly important, but this time I think their anger is misplaced. Albeit I do understand where they're coming from, this sitcom is not about transgender people, these are men who are crossdressing - there is a difference. The majority are not aware of that, as it can be quite confusing, but the LGBT community are usually the ones who get provoked when someone confuse the two. Thus I find this quite ironic. These characters are "Tootsies", not "Chaz Bonos".

  17. 17

    Re: DashTaylor – Inevitably, there were some people who reacted, but as it was blatantly obvious that it was anything but racist, most let it be. Thank god for that. Downey Jr. was absolutely genius in that film.

  18. 18

    Re: DashTaylor – Its also been done with the Wayan Bros dressed up as White Girls remember. Good Post HAWTSUFF!

  19. 19

    wait a minute!! just a week or so ago you were touting this as the next best thing since sliced bread. huh, guess your opinion is easily swayed.

  20. Laura says – reply to this


    thats too much to read.

  21. 21

    as i said when you first posted about this story, just another re-make of a re make of a re-make. starting with some like it hot to bosom buddys to threes company to chuck and larry etc

  22. 22

    '"We agree that it's offensive for it's disregard for transgendered feelings, but also for the fact that it just looks plain stupid. " sure isn't what you said last week

  23. 23

    everyone is just a professional victim and whiner.

  24. 24

    GLADD are the ones who discriminate. Their bullying ways need to be stopped.

  25. 25

    I think unless the word "Tranny" is used in this show it shouldn't be offensive. The show is a comedy about two men exploring another side like fish out of water! I can see why transexuals are angry - it's because transgendered people are NEVER taken seriously in real life or in television. I wish things were different and trans people were not made the butt of every joke but this show is nothing about being born in the wrong body. Which is the core of what transgender life is all about.

  26. 26

    OH PLEASE!! From "Some Like It Hot" to "Mrs. Doubtfire", this storyline has been told hundreds of times. Just because you are transgender doesn't mean you can dictate what is and is not acceptable within the arts and entertainment industry. P.S. This looks terrible!!!

  27. 27


    Doesn't anyone remember Bosom Buddies? Why wasn't it offensive back then for a man to dress as a woman?

  28. 28

    I don't get why the transgender community is mad. How is this anything like being transgender? It's more like cross-dressing. Not offensive at all. That being said, the show looks terrible. Did we really need Bosom Buddies Part II?

  29. 29

    Its NOT offensive. Come on, the concept predates Bosom Buddies and Some Like It Hot and goes back beyond Shakespeare. It doesnt threaten transgenders and it doesnt exploit sexual stereotypes - at worse, this theme satirizes sexual roles and expectations. Whether this show actually is funny, however, depends on the writers and the actors. But the concept? The TGLB community needs to lighten up or denounce every Marilyn Monroe film, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, and drag queens everywhere. Its comedy.

  30. 30

    K, the thing with this is, these men are not supposed to be transgender. As I understand it, a trangendered person is perhaps a person born physically male, who believes to have the wrong body, who believed that they should have been female. Naturally, a transgender person, in this case, a physical man, would already act more female, or care to.
    This is about two straight ass men, being desperate enough to pass themselves off as women (the kind born with a vagina) and the people stupid enough to believe them. They obviously have never payed attention to the way women dress or act, and are living a double life for the sake of a paycheck, not mental happiness.
    Listen, I am very very accepting about the Gay, Lesbian and Transgender community, but not fucking everything is about YOU! This is the same old shit we've seen all over the place. Think of the amount of shakespeare where women play men or vice versa. Think of Bossum Buddies. Fucking "White girls". None of them were about trangendered people, they were about the uncomfortable situation straight men are put in when they for whatever ridiculousness, pretend they are women.
    Had this actually been a show mocking Transgendered people, i would legit be upset. It's SO far from that.

  31. 31

    It just seems like a stupid show.Bosom buddies was 30 yrs ago-and these guys are no Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari!

  32. 32

    Puh-leez. No one had a problem when this show aired the first time around…as Bossom Buddies.

  33. 33

    Women should take offense over it as it promotes the idea that women are more privileged than men in work places and everyone knows that it's the other way around. Unemployment hits women harder than men. It would be funny if it was the other way around -like when Whoopi Goldberg had played a white male banker, now that was funny because it made fun of stereotypes and had a dose of realism.
    This isn't funny.

  34. 34

    ITS NOT OFFENSIVE.. they need to get over it!

  35. 35

    So it's okay for Lady Gaga to have an alternate persona and get more notoriety than this show probably ever will get. Gimme a break !

  36. 36

    So Tom Hanks old sitcom "Bosom Buddies" would be considered offensive now? You radical gay jackasses really suck just as much as your radical anti-gay counterparts. Or any radical branch (breach actually) of faith, morals, or ethics. While I find nothing humorous about men dressing as woman it is old as the hills. Next you'll be rallying to ban airings of "Some Like It Hot"!

  37. 37

    Hellooooo?? These characters are NOT transgender! That is what makes it funny! And I, for one, am GLAAD they are putting some lighthearted, silly shows back on the air. Its just supposed to be funny TV that doesn't make you have to "think". My God, would people lighten up! I am so sick of these groups and "causes". All humor is acceptible, as long as it isn't mean!

  38. 38

    Oh people need to calm down. They've done this plot in movies and in shows several times before. Big deal

  39. 39

    Re: Mabelle – Very well said

  40. auds says – reply to this


    apparently these people who are offended have NO sense of humor and haven't ever seen the countless films that star men cross dressing. this kind of stuff has been in tv and films since marilyn monroe's movie "some like it hot" - where two men dress like women to join an all women's band ensemble, right up to stuff like tootsie & mrs doubtfire. people are welcome to dress like who they want. a drag queen doesn't have to be trans in order to dress like a woman. some people need to get over it!! it looks like glaad are becoming the biggest bullies of them all!!!

  41. Sgirl says – reply to this


    You are offensive! Men who think they are women are offensive. This show is not offensive. Shut the fuck up. Wah wah wah! Cry me a river homos!

  42. 42

    LMAO..Gays need to be eradicated, they are beyond idiotic. It's funny their main insult is "ignorant" but yet this clearly is not about transgendered people. Its about 2 men that dress up as women. So only LGBT's are allowed to cross dress?

    That want attention and special treatment. NOT equality. We need to have a nice witch hunt..It'll happen one day. The LGBT's are the most annoying idiotic minority there is.

  43. 43

    anyone who finds this offensive is completely ridiculous. the show has no relation to the lgbt community whatsoever. stop being so god damn sensitive and worry about the actual issues in this horrid world instead of a tv show about men dressing as women to get jobs.

  44. 44

    btw perez, your complete bias is getting obnoxious, you and every other human being with common sense knows this isnt offensive. just because the community you belong to says it is, doesnt make it so.

  45. 45

    Get over it. Most comedy is insulting to someone or another. This appears to be a bad remake of Bosom Buddies.

  46. 46

    Oh, for crying out loud, it's a moronic comedy in a long line of moronic comedies. The gays didn't freak out when Jack Tripper pretended he was gay to live with two girls on Three's Company. The trans community didn't flip out over Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari dressing up as women in Bosom Buddies in order to live in a female-only building. Um, Robin Willions in Mrs. Doubtfire didn't get any flack. I mean really, just because you have more freedom to be a whiny b*tch doesn't mean you have to do it every single second of every single day. And they wonder why non-trans people ignore them? It's like white noise - the boy that cried wolf over absolutely everything is just no longer going to get any attention. Perhaps that should be taken into account… I have MANY friends in the drag and trans community and they couldn't give LESS of a crap.

  47. 47

    I saw the commercial and asked myself, why are they remaking "Bosom Buddies" from the early 80s (put Tom Hanks on the map). The show won't last 3 eps. I'm insulted that they would even pass that nonsense off as a sitcom.

  48. 48

    I didn't hear anyone having a problem when Gaga was dressed as a man and cursing on stage about "being a man" at the MTV awards

  49. 49

    I don't find this offensive, and I'm a huge LGBT rights/equality supporter. I understand where the above mentioned people are coming from, but I think they're blowing it out of proportion.