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ABC sitcom ‘Work It’ may harm transgender people in the workplace

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'Work It' // Photo Credit: ABC

The ABC cross-dressing comedy ‘Work It’ may have a negative impact on transgender people, says GLAAD, and has called upon the network to remove the programming come fall.

In partnership with the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, GLAAD has circulated ads in opposition of the TV show which include statistics on viewership polls.

“Work It will harm transgender people,” the ad reads.

The premise of the show is about two men who dress as women in order to hold down their jobs. But GLAAD has spoken out against the show since it plays on the insensitivities of transgender Americans in the workplace who are already being legally fired for “who they are.”

ABC says the show is aimed to be lighthearted and funny, explaining in their show synopsis that, “With unemployment an ongoing issue and women now outnumbering men in the workforce, the new comedy series Work It follows two alpha males who realize the only way to beat the current ‘mancession’ and land a job in pharmaceutical sales is to pass themselves off as women.”

But GLAAD has called an audible on the “mancession” and insists the show will be harmful to transgender Americans who already deal with discrimination in the workplace.

“This show could contribute to the high levels of job discrimination that transgender Americans face and will give license for people to mock and ridicule those whose gender expression might not fit with what society considers the norm,” said GLAAD’s acting president Mike Thompson in a statement. “The media should use this as an opportunity to address the huge number of inaccurate or offensive images of transgender people in news and entertainment today.”

ABC has made no comment about the ad, but the network has agreed to meet with GLAAD to discuss the show.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=18998

Posted by on Dec 21, 2011. Filed under Online Only, Top Highlights. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

6 Comments for “ABC sitcom ‘Work It’ may harm transgender people in the workplace”

  1. Actually, this is simply an attempt by GLAAD and HRC to look like they are actually dealing with transgender issues. I have written an analysis on my blog concerning this show, and the reaction to it. While I think the show is silly, like “Bosom Buddies” and “Tootsie” before, it is no more harmful to transgender people than a drag show is. This is just an attempt to bully ABC.

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  5. Really Just Jennifer? Are you a transgender person “Out” at work? If so, did you transition or are you transitioning on the job? I would like to read your blog.

    • No Jess, I am NOT a transgender person. Not by a long shot. I am a woman (note: NO qualifiers, just woman) who was born with a medical condition that some call transsexualism, and others call Harry Benjamin Syndrome). No, I did not “transition on the job.” By that, I mean that I began my transition while I was between jobs. Specifically, I started my RLT officially on a Monday (name change, etc.), finished the major portion of my paperwork changes on Tuesday, and went that Wednesday and got the first job I applied for, as a woman, period. I did not volunteer to anyone that I was “transsexual,” and I remained stealth at work until I moved to another state (long story). As to reading my blog, just click on my name and it will take you there.

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