GLAAD: ABC's 'Work It' no laughing matter
December 19th, 2011
12:46 PM ET

GLAAD: ABC's 'Work It' no laughing matter

ABC's new midseason comedy "Work It" doesn't air until January 3, but it's drawing a critical reaction from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) and the Human Rights Campaign, reports Entertainment Weekly.

The premise of "Work It" centers on two manly men who are struggling to find employment, and thus dress as women in order to get jobs.

GLAAD posits in a write-up on its website that "during a period in which the transgender community now routinely finds itself in the cultural crosshairs, the timing couldn't be worse for a show based on the notion that men dressed as women is inherently funny."

The organization adds that it has viewed the show's pilot, and while it "doesn't explicitly address transgender people, many home viewers unfamiliar with the realities of being transgender will still make the connection."

There's also the issue of the show's advertisement, featuring two men dressed in skirts and heels at a urinal, which GLAAD says "inadvertently further[s] notions that transgender identities are humorous or artificial" and is also the sort of image that "anti-LGBT activists resort to when trying to deny transgender people protections against discrimination."

The organization asserts that ABC, which has been acknowledged for previous inclusion of the LGBT community, should pull the ad and reconsider airing the show. GLAAD's acting president has said it "will reinforce the mistaken belief that transgender women are simply 'men pretending to be women,' and that their efforts to live their lives authentically as women are a form of lying or deception."

The Human Rights Campaign has issued a similar call with a letter writing campaign to urge ABC to not air "Work It." In a statement on the organization's website, the HRC says that the premise of the show "reinforces false and damaging stereotypes about transgender people."

According to EW, ABC had no comment on the comments from GLAAD or the HRC.

Filed under: television

soundoff (60 Responses)
  1. Chris

    Wait a sec... a man dressing up as a woman to get a job... where have I seen this before... oh wait... Tootsie!

    January 13, 2012 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mike P

    "...the timing couldn't be worse for a show based on the notion that men dressed as women is inherently funny." It's not inherently funny. It's inherently disturbing and sickening.

    January 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. BillyBob

    Maybe GLAAD would be OK with the show if the guys wore chaps?

    January 4, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mike

    Wow...wonder if anybody blinked an eye back in the days of "Bosom Buddies."

    December 26, 2011 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Paul

    I dont understand the Gay movement...First theyre only less than 4% of the population...Its wrong if your religious or if you dont believe, but you know science (biology) its wrong...yet you see them taking over. People see it all the time on TV when it isnt as prevalent as people think...Organizations like GLAAD censor TV shows and comedians etc. they compare their problems to the Civil Rights Movement when things arent as near as bad for them as it was for Blacks in the 20th century (Segregation, Fire Hoses, Dogs, Legal Beatings, Being denied Jobs, Government humiliation). Those people went through alot more than any Gay person goes through today. They try to force their agenda on you by calling you a bigot if you dont fully support them. Well I just wonder whats next. Their arguments are "You cant stop Love" and "You cant stop progress" Well there is something called progress in the wrong direction (Example: Congress ) Well if its just love what about incest or pedophilia or bestiality? How long will it be before those are promoted with the same argument. No one can stop you from being Gay, but please dont force your Agenda on me and my generation (only 16) and be gay like people have for thousands of years

    December 22, 2011 at 2:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. Gary Siebert

    WHAT A CROCK, LGBT & GLAAD!!! If your organizations were up running back in the 80's, you would have caused a stink over Bosom Buddies, so why don't you just shut that hole in your faces, called a mouth! Get over yourselves and PLEASE, PLEASE go back in the closets where you belong! Our modern day society is not better off, for you and yours having come out of the closet. You the LGBT member are better off, but the world is NOT!

    December 21, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. JoeyATL

    Men dressing as women has always been funny. Ever seen The Kids In The Hall, Benny Hill, Saturday Night Live, etc..

    December 20, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ProperVillain

    Which one is Kip and which one is Henry again? 😉

    December 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jennifer

    I was not planning on watching this show because it looks impossibly stupid however; now that I know GLADD is attempting to bully ABC I think I will be tuning in. I am so tired of the gay agenda being shoved down everyone's throat. Listen, love who you love. Your bedroom is none of my business but knock off the endless pity party ok. It is seriously time to lighten up. Even my 6 year old (without any "programming" at home mind you) thinks it is hysterical to see a boy dressed like a girl. One of the things that sends her into fits of giggles is putting hair clips in my husband's hair. Jeesh. Stop being so touchy already.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • be quiet

      newsflash, your husband is gay and your daughter will come out as a lez in about 11 years.

      have fun at therapy!

      December 20, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rjalves716

    GLAAD, Human Rights campaign and the rest of those misfits have no problem mocking traditional marriage and family supporters, but now have their panties in a not about this TV show. Too bad! Suck it up and deal with it. If these trannies don't want to be stared at or laughed at, then go get some real psychiatric help so can figure out how your plumbing works!

    December 20, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |

    uh.. but doesn't the gay community do the drag queen thing?????? so if you find this show offensive, shouldn't you find the drag queen thing just as offensive?

    December 20, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  12. la

    SHUT UP!!!! Gawd – they are getting to be as bad, if not worse, as the ACLU.

    December 20, 2011 at 11:27 am | Report abuse |
  13. Iconoclast

    I support GLBT rights, don't see an issue with gay marriage, have many gay friends. If I took anything on TV seriously I might have a problem with this show, but if any gag in the entertainment industry is time tested it's this one. Proven again and again men dressing as women is funny. It just is.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
  14. Straight

    Gay and glad used to be to perfectly good and now the Hanna Barbera people who mad millions off of' gay old time' can't say that because of you 'freaks',now that's a word that used to be a good description of you freaks. You guys I think most of still have a pair and you females 'man up'.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. Debbie Key

    CRAZY...what are we mad about? Its a remake of a Tom Hanks sitcom and no one had a problem then. In fact, as a kid I watched it and thought that it was hilarious...I won't be watching this one however, I'm not a kid anymore. Men have been dressing up for a role for years, so find something else to make a big deal of – like bullying and hate crimes.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  16. Boof

    Does anyone really care what GLAAD or PETA or any of these watch groups say? They have no real power. They just like people to think they do. They can't get it through their pointy little heads that they cater to the vast minority. A minority that really doesn't have any say in anything that goes on in this country. The media wants this minority to believe they are important, but in the end, they aren't.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  17. DJ

    Why can't they just be cross dressers? If the premise of the shwo was indeed that the men are transgender, then and onyl then I could see GLAAD getting thier panties in a bunch (pun intended!) Yes, it is unoriginal, and probably will get canceled after only a few episodes. But for real, people, cross dressing does not mean transgender.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  18. Carl

    Get real here...They will all burn in hell for the transgender, gay, lesbian lifestyles they "choose" to live. We live in a country that kills our babies and we're worried about the lifestyles these sick puppies live? Pray...

    December 20, 2011 at 8:21 am | Report abuse |
  19. johnsonja1

    This show looks terrible but I will watch just because GLAAD objects. I'm so sick and tired of the LGBT community Trying to dictate what the rest of us should think and feel. Funny how they preach tolerance and acceptence but try to silence anything they don't agree with.

    December 20, 2011 at 2:11 am | Report abuse |
  20. Dave Lucas

    Yet another example of how bankrupt Hollywood is nowadays when it comes to originality. "Bosom Buddies?" I'd rather watch "Some Like It Hot." Same premise.

    December 19, 2011 at 11:56 pm | Report abuse |
  21. just me 2012

    but it is inherently funny......

    December 19, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  22. big mama

    If GLAAD has a problem with men dressing as women for comedy, then surely they must hate Tyler Perry.

    December 19, 2011 at 9:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • BobF

      But mama, they CAN'T hate Tyler – after all, he is a member of another put-upon group that the far left simply can't bring themselves to criticize! Not even for making crappy movies!

      December 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Emily Rose

    Marilyn Monroe,Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon in Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot,genius.

    December 19, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
  24. bud

    Lighten up folks. This is a television show. If it fails to draw viewers, and thereby advertisers, it will obviously close. This is (what's left of) a free society and if it is not against the law for a man to walk down the street dressed like a woman they should be free to make a television show about it. Don't like it? Go make your own show. Bunch of whiners...get over it.

    December 19, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  25. FedUpWithGLAAD

    This is ridiculous. This is an unoriginal remake of an 80's sitcom starring Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari. It is a retread. It is a comedy, hence the fact that they have the men dressing as women thinking it is easier for women to find jobs instead of men. it is a tough job finding market out there for EVERYONE. Make a comedy about the Politicians who cannot agree on anything in DC. Not to mention, where are GLAAD and HRC when Modern Family is concerned? That show pokes fun of effeminate men for the sake of Gay humor. Not all Gay men are effeminate. I find that more offensive to me (yes, I am gay) than them having men dressing as women to find work. Get over yourself GLAAD and HRC.

    December 19, 2011 at 6:53 pm | Report abuse |
  26. ProperVillain

    GLADD needs to lighten up and realize the difference between reality and a sitcom. Having said that, the show is beyond horrible...

    December 19, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Superhiro

    Agree with the general sentiment here. This is a re-hash of Bosom Buddies, and that's really the only problem with it. Find something real to complain about GLAAD

    December 19, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  28. BobF

    Of course the Bosom Buddies comparison is right, but in today's PC atmosphere people are stunned: how dare that special group, the gays, be so hurtfully offended?
    Which is interesting to me, in that I find the Asian cafe owner on "2 Broke Girls" (which I think is a horrendously bad show anyway, but seem to be getting traction) to be a very stereotypical one – he's short, a bad dancer, and has a thick accent – jokes are made at his expense (by others or himself) numerous times – where are the throngs of hurtfully offended Asians foaming at the mouth on this travesty? Nowhere, that's where, because they can take a joke.
    Yes, Bosom Buddies was great – both Hanks and Scolari – and I have little doubt but that this show will be garbage as too many others are nowadays (Whitney, anyone? The resuscitated Two and a Half Men? Allen Gregory?) and will die on its own merits anyway, but this over-sensitivity about gays has really got to stop.

    December 19, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Toni L

      BobF...the show isn't about gays nor is it making fun of gays. The fact that you associate "transgender" with "gay" only illustrates the tremendous lack of understanding transgender people face every day and everywhere they go. "Work It" will only *increase* that lack of understanding and sends a message that it's okay to laugh at the trans people viewers might happen to see...doing hilarious things like, oh, shopping for groceries or sitting down at a table in a restaurant.

      If it was you in the checkout line and everyone was staring and giggling at you, or–oh, and this *never* happens, right?–beating you up in the street, would you be so quick to say "learn to laugh at yourself"?

      December 20, 2011 at 7:30 am | Report abuse |
  29. Geoffrey Hayes

    I have been grossly offended by the ads for this series, not as a liberal gay male, but as an intelligent human being. This simply looks like garbage. Neither of the two leads are remotely funny or appealing, the drag is unconvincing, and all the women are made to look like bimbos. This seems like a throwback to 70's and 80's sitcoms. At least "Bosom Buddies" had Tom Hanks! i predict this show will last for about two episodes, so why not save everyone the bother and cancel it now?

    December 19, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  30. The Måd Råp3r

    I see everyone beat me to Bosom Buddies so I'll just lay into GLAAD.

    "during a period in which the transgender community now routinely finds itself in the cultural crosshairs, the timing couldn't be worse for a show based on the notion that men dressed as women is inherently funny."
    LGBT people are probably more accepted now than in any time in history except ancient Rome, seriously get over it.
    When did America lose its sense of humor? Oh right...

    December 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  31. RamblinRosie

    As a middle aged, middle income, college educated, white collar, overweight, Midwest American female I am usually poorly represented by most of the images and/or content presented by contemporary news and entertainment media. If I voiced my anger or disenchantment at every part of popular culture that might offend me, not only would it become a full time job, it would also mean I completely lost my sense of self and SENSE OF HUMOR along the way. People need to get the He!! over themselves. What a bunch of oversensitive cry babies.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Karen

    I don't think GLAAD should worry this unoriginal crap looks like it'll be canceled very quickly.

    December 19, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Todd

    THe only thing offensive about this show is how stupid it looks.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Well...

      The only thing offensive about this show is that it kicked Cougar Town, a gem of a show, off the air.

      December 19, 2011 at 8:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • dave

      This show got Cougar Town Kicked off the air? I like it already.

      December 19, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oren

      Cougar Town is not kicked off the had its schedule cut down to only 15 episodes from like 20, so it will be premiering in March. So in the meantime ABC is going to be playing this crap to try and fill the gap....all it will take is one episode of this cheap 80's knock off and people will be begging to have 5 more episodes of Courtney Cox again. I understand the humor they are reaching for...but I do find it offensive...and not because I am gay, but because people still find this type of sad humor funny enough to play on primetime TV...

      December 20, 2011 at 9:51 am | Report abuse |
  34. JJ

    @Anonymous Bosom Buddies was on right before AIDs exploded in the media,apparently back then people thought straight men in drag were funny.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Leo

    Yeah. Typical TV drivel. Looks right up there, on par with 2 Broke Girls, or whatever that trash is called.

    December 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  36. christina

    seriously, I'm gay and I don't see the problem... It's just a show and we have more things to worry about like babies starving and children being homeless and raped... come on, now!!!!!! IT'S JUST A SHOW and it's funny during these hard times, we all need a laugh snd that is what ABC is trying to do, not offend anyone.. GROW UP!!!!

    December 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  37. Mike

    GLAAD just needs to STFU already.

    December 19, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  38. *Captain Obvious*

    Agreed. If the GLADD wants equality, they had better learn to laugh at the whole human race, because there is no holds barred in equality. Even if it's offensive.

    December 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  39. LoJenk

    December 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Anonymous

    Oh jeez. Seriously, while I do have respect for GLADD and what they stand for, get a life already. Doesn't anyone remember Tom Hanks in the 80s with Bosom Buddies? That show was hilarious. There are sitcoms making fun of every aspect of people out there. You wanna know why? Because it's funny and makes people laugh. If you can't laugh at yourself, then you seriously need to get that stick out of your bum.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  41. Ken from Canada

    Man, this one looks awfully regressive. It's peculiar that a network like ABC – which has on its schedule MODERN FAMILY (a sitcom containing progressive lifestyle portrayals) – would now resort to something like this. WORK IT smells like a cheap-laughs loser.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  42. Jacob

    Hint: Sitcoms make fun of every kind of person, if you want equality, now you've got it. Imagine if I got mad at every sitcom that made white men look like buffoons or idiots. As another poster said, the only thing wrong with this show is that it is sadly unoriginal.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick


      December 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim and Ed

      Oh you are quite misinformed if you believe that the LGBT community has equality! Please educate yourself on the subject matter before you post.

      December 20, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  43. Tony

    Bosom Buddies put Tom Hanks on the map. It was a cute show and it was during a time when people could take a joke. Now everyone wants to sue everyone.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • ilvpitz


      December 20, 2011 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Blake

      Maybe they will also complain about Glen Close's "Albert Nobbs" movie (a woman dressed up as a man to get a job). Or how about removing "Some Like it Hot" from the shelves. Let's face it. If someone is ignorant enough to think that is what transgender men do, let it be. Because no matter what you do or say, they believe it to be so. So lighten up. Have a laugh (we surely need it these days). It is just a comedy....... albeit not an original concept. At least it is not another reality show. Kardashians anyone? Another Bachelor?

      December 20, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  44. skinny headband leotard man

    The only thing wrong with this is that hollywood can't get a a newer idea than the recycling of the 1980's Tom Hanks' show Bosom Buddies....

    December 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  45. be quiet

    Apart from being incredibly offensive, this is also highly unoriginal. This premise was done years ago, and it was called Bosom Buddies. Those men dressed as women in order to live in an all female apartment building...and these men do so in order to get jobs? Are we seriously supposed to believe that it's easier for a woman to get a job than a man?

    Do yourself a favor, ABC, and cancel this garbage before it even airs.

    December 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denise

      I agree!This kind of show has already been done.Bosom Buddies jump started Tom Hank's career.

      December 20, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |

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