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Views & Voices

Offensive ABC sitcom ‘Work It’ will fail simply because it’s not funny

Thursday, December 22, 2011

In case you haven’t noticed, there is a controversy brewing concerning an upcoming ABC sitcom called “Work It.”

“Work It” tells of two unemployed men so desperate that they dress as women to get jobs. Some members of the LGBTQ community have called the show offensive to the transgender community.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) have both joined together in opposition of the show, and have come out with a full page ad in Daily Variety denouncing the show.

Now many have talked about it but very few have actually seen the show. So below is the promo. What do you think?

Personally I found the show to be in poor taste and simply not funny. Don’t get me wrong. Men impersonating women (or women impersonating men) isn’t necessarily an offensive subject for comedy in and by itself. Two Academy Award winning movies, “Some Like It Hot” and “Tootsie,” come to mind.

But sometimes when an entertainment piece is walking a fine line between uproariously funny and downright offensive, things like script-writing, three-dimensional characterizations are important.

This is where this show fails big time. The characters are one-dimensional and from what I see, the storyline is even poor.

My guess is that even without the controversy, “Work It” will fail.

Opinions and advice expressed in our Views & Voices columns represent the author's own views and not necessarily those of LGBTQ Nation. We welcome opposing views and diverse perspectives. To submit a article, column or video, contact us here. Due to the volume of submissions received, we cannot guarantee publication.

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60 more reader comments:

  1. I haven’t had a chance to look into this much BUT, what makes this so much more offensive than Bossom Buddies from the 80

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:24pm
  2. ‘s

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:24pm
  3. It looks stupid!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:25pm
  4. This is nothing new, it’s just another cheesy spinoff of that comedy with Ton Hanks back in the 80′s. The name escapes my memory, but you know the one I’m talking about.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:25pm
  5. “Bosom Buddies” worked great in the 80′s, leave it in peace.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:26pm
  6. can we see it first.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:26pm
  7. @Ismael – Exactly, just like “Bossom Buddies” from the 80′s with Tom Hanks. That show was stupid just on its own.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:27pm
  8. it’s just a new unfunny version of bossom buddies that Tom Hanks did years ago. Watch the show then complain not complain about what you think it’s going to be and it will be off the air quickly just like the Playboy Club that had the same type of issues.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:27pm
  9. “Bosom Buddies” was great in the 80′s, leave it in peace.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:28pm
  10. Hundreds of shows are pitched to networks every year. Dozens are greenlit. Some are made. Few make it to air. And THIS goes the full way? I’m more offended by the lame excuse for comedy then I am about the plot device of man-in-dress. I wouldn’t consider it offensive to transgender people, because clearly the characters aren’t in fact transgendered. But I would consider it offensive to people who love good comedy and storytelling over awful plot devices.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:29pm
  11. @Ismael the show with Tom Hanks was Bossom Buddies. I think it has the ability to be hilarious. This doesn’t look like a show that is poking fun at the LGTBQ community but maybe making fun of the ecconomic state of the country and the extreams people will have to go to get jobs if it continues this way. I know and understand that there are VERY VERY VERY many issues that our entire community is facing. But sometimes it seems as though some of us just go to look for things to be offended by by trying to read between lines that arent there.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:30pm
  12. @Ismael again…. only the first line of my last post was meant for you specifically to help you rememeber the name of the show the rest was in general..

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:31pm
  13. A concept that could have been funny and open doors, instead an epic fail

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:33pm
  14. meh, I think all sitcoms are not funny but this one doesn’t particularly offend me because of their portrayal of transgendered people but if it were to offend me it would be how they portray women in general. It’s stupid. High pitched voices and dieting. Where’s the depth?

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:34pm
  15. Milton Berle was funny. Harvey Korman was funny. This, I’m not so sure. BTW, how would this work in the real world since transgender people are discriminated against in the workplace? &-{/}

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:35pm
  16. But how is this offensive?!?!?!?!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:35pm
  17. BUT HOW IS THIS OFFENSIVE???? You guys are fucking stupid.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:36pm
  18. So far I don’t remember much where men dressing as women was ever funny. This doesn’t offend me but it doesn’t look funny. Of course I’m not transgendered. What could be offensive is how stupid those women have to be to not realize they’re working with men dressed as women.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:40pm
  19. Warren: This particular concept (straight men posing as women to get jobs) isn’t likely to open any doors. Whether it’s insulting or not we have to wait and see what they do and hold our imaginations in check. What I’ve seen it never had a chance to be funny.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:42pm
  20. @ Branden, think about it for a while……wait, never mind, we will be here for ever.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:43pm
  21. It could be a really short series…without ENDA employment protections these guys would be canned…

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:45pm
  22. really? Tom Hanks did it, Dustin Hoffman did it, they did it well and they arent the first, and wont be the last, why is it offensive

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:45pm
  23. Yup, Bosom Buddies repackaged for the present. What I find offensive is the dearth of original ideas and quality writing for television in general.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:48pm
  24. Wasn’t there an old tv sitcom that was done with sort of the same premise? I can’t remember the name – but it was done very well and was not offensive at all.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:48pm
  25. it is, dear, because they are portraying us in a defemating fashion… like we are a joke.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:49pm
  26. I don’t understand how this is considered offensivd..looks funny to me.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:52pm
  27. If you don’t know, then perhaps you should take a good long look in the mirror before you start calling others names!! Just a thought. Doh!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:53pm
  28. It doesn’t seem offensive, just stupid. They’re not trying to portray transgender people, just two idiot men.

    Cross-dressing wasn’t funny in Mrs. Doubtfire, Bosom Buddies, or anywhere else. It’s a cheap plot device to create conflict where there should, by rights, be none.

    Also, I agree with Sarah: How stupid do you have to be to not realize that they’re men, how oblivious do their wives/girlfriends/fiancess/whatever they are have to be to not realize what’s going on, and how idiotic is it to throw a perfectly good sandwich and just eat lettuce?

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:54pm
  29. what makes it so much more offensive than glee? CHRIST, gay people will always find SOMETHING to whine about!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:55pm
  30. Yes in the 80′s Tom Hanks was on tv dressing as a woman to live in the only available apt building which was only for woman. He and another actor dressed up as women at night. Had regular jobs as men during the daytime.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:55pm
  31. I’m Gay and it doesn’t offend me. There are too many more important news & Op/Ed things to worry about. If the show is better than the trailer, it’ll do well. If it’s as lame as the trailer, it will die a natural death.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 4:59pm
  32. Now this sitcom is about men dressing as women for the donly jobs available as women???? excuse me when there is very limit jobs that are available to women as women…what makes this funny ??? About the only 5 secs of this sitcom is funny when these actores first dress as women… after that its not not funny.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 5:01pm
  33. It looks funny. Stop the complaining . I’m gay and this looks funny some of u need to take jokes.!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 5:11pm
  34. I am lesbian, and those are the ugliest women I have ever seen!!!!!!!

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 5:24pm
  35. oh jesus christ calm down

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 5:29pm
  36. All of GBLT people, WATCH THE SHOW FIRST!! LAUGH AT YOURSELF, or BITCH AT YOURSELF for watching and then complain!!! This show is not about slamming TG’s. The format is simular to Bosom Buddies. GET OVER IT. Remember the off button and channel changing buttons on the remote.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 5:32pm
  37. that was done in the 80,s boosm budies for a place to live tom hanks first gig so it has already been done but that was funny.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 5:50pm
  38. sounds like a poor attempt at bosom buddies….

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 6:02pm
  39. it doesnt bother me, if it is funny people may watch it.. if not then like MANY other TV shows, it will simply fail… it is humour and entertainment, no need to get your knickers in a knot over it.. there are many wrose things ( like RIck Perry or Newt Gingrinch ) that are worth getting upset over.. not a tv show.. get serious

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 6:03pm
  40. I think we should wait and see. It might end up empowering the transgender community. You never know I doubt they will be offensive, and if thy do it won’t last over a season…

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 6:24pm
  41. hello every one…:)

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 6:25pm
  42. Uhm Bosom Buddies. Yeah, stop getting up in arms about everything your cause is starting to get pretty petty.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 6:43pm
  43. Bosom Buddies redux to fail nearly 30 years later?

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 6:50pm
  44. It’s a rehash of Bosom Buddies, from 1970′s..nobody bitched about cross-dressing then.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 9:38pm
  45. o my….people get ova yourselves…its just plain funny…….

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 10:03pm
  46. Calm down, people. It won’t last. It’s on ABC (Already Been Cancelled).

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 10:21pm
  47. I file this in the ‘uber-sensetive & pick your fights’ category. Coming from a super progressive gay man.

    Posted on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 11:14pm
  48. Is anyone supposed to believe that these guys are actually women? The real reason I think transgendered people should be offended is because these guys are NOT convincing!! Totally stupid show, will die a quick death – if we all are lucky (Women are taking over? Heck, I’m missing out on all my “Jewish World Domination” – now I’m going to miss out on my “Woman Control”???)

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 12:38am
  49. I agree with Adam. There are a lot of things we have to deal with and I don’t think we need to look for more things to get offended about, especially a silly TV show that’s not hurting anyone. We need to be strong and defend the important things that need to change, not be overly sensitive to the small, trivial things. If anything, it’s more likely to hurt our cause than anything else. How are we going to be taken seriously if people look at us and only see “overly dramatic” or “too sensitive” of people?

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 3:39am
  50. Sounds like a really bad re-tread of “Bosom Buddies” where Tom Hanks kinda got his start.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 7:56am
  51. that show is offensive and is libel someone should sue

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 11:59am
  52. I really don’t see what the big deal is. I think every male in the world should have to spend a week putting himself together in the way that is dictated by society for females. Let’s not get offended just to get offended.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 12:05pm
  53. What’s offensive about it, from prelude, is not that it makes fun of transgender people, cross-dressers or transsexuals. The problem is that it reinforces rediculous female gender stereotypes, and plays up on offensive sexist male stereotypes. It doesn’t matter what people look like, the characters don’t identify as women so any comments about them as women or transgendered, or whatever you’re trying to relate them too simply aren’t valid. The sitcom appears offensive because it plays up on gender stereotypes rather than taking a creative and entertaining approach to understanding “how the other half lives”.

    However, this doesn’t mean the show is destined to failure, as the author put… There is a way you can make it a valuable point of view about living as a woman in our society, to give them that “the grass isn’t always greener” view of the other side. Men often think women have it easy, but can’t see things from the other side of the coin. Either this show will fail on the basis of flat, egocentric, Tim ‘The Toolman” Taylor’d, male sexists for characters or it will proved to be an enlightening piece of entertainment to “break though the barriers” between cisgendered and transgendered people understanding each other. Perhaps though, there is a better way to do it.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 1:40pm
  54. This show is a take from Bosom Buddies during the 80′s with Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 7:23pm
  55. Nobody had a problem then, why start now. It does look a little stupid though.

    Posted on Friday, December 23, 2011 at 7:24pm
  56. First of all, I never watch “sit-coms” anyway. I find them predictable and boring. THAT said, you would have to be blind AND deaf not to know (right off) these two are men in dresses, and it is really insulting to all people (of any stripe) to expect them to actually ENJOY this kind of drivel. Yes I remember Bosom Buddies. I didn’t like IT either. The premise of the show is just plain stupid.

    Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2011 at 7:48am
  57. Way too soon to tell folks, unless you’ve had a private screening I don’t think it fair to judge until the premiere on Jan. 3rd. Additionally, I’ve spoken to my friends internationally and domestically in the LGBT community and none of them found it offensive. In fact, they were the ones that started quoting different movies through the years from Tootsie to Bosom Buddies to White Chicks and To Wong Foo…has anyone paid attention to the fact that the theme song is by Ru Paul? In order to even use that song the artist would have to approve of it in some measure. To judge and place a biased opinion on this show prior to even watching it is the same as what all the right wing nuts out there that judge without even being educated about the LGBT community. Why the hypocrisy?

    Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2011 at 2:02pm
  58. Hypocrisy my ass.

    I have seen the trailer for the thing. That is all I will be seeing of this drek.

    Posted on Sunday, December 25, 2011 at 3:43pm
  59. I think this is kindof funny, I really don’t see what there is too complain about. I cross dress, rather horribly, but the only thing to complain about is the female stereotypes and how badly they cross-dress. Maybe if they take this in another way like break barriers, then it could be something good. And seriously LGBTQ we need to have a sense to laugh at ourselves, every now and then. If we don’t we will end up like those insensitive conservative, religious, homophobic, pricks.

    Posted on Monday, December 26, 2011 at 11:36pm
  60. It’s more offensive than Bosom Buddies because it show a lack of progress over 30 years.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2012 at 8:45am