New ABC comedy sparks controversy among LGBT community

By Farah Casalini,

The new ABC comedy Work It, which isn’t set to premiere until Jan. 3, is causing a raucous among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The new comedy revolves around two heterosexual businessmen who cross-dress in order to land a job as pharmaceutical salesmen that is looking to hire females.

However, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation and the Human Rights Campaign claim the show damages the reputations of those who are actually transgender, Yahoo! reports.

“[The show] does not explicitly address transgender people...[but] invites the audience to laugh at images of men trying to adopt a feminine appearance, thereby also making it easier to mock people whose gender identity and expression are different than the one they were assigned at birth,” GLAAD said.

The organization was particularly upset about the print ad for the show, which features the two men at urinals dressed as women, and asked the network to discontinue circulation of the ad, Reuters reported.

The Human Rights Campaign, however, asked the public to boycott the series.

The advocacy group set up a wire-in campaign, urging supporters to send a message to ABC that says, “It is never appropriate to belittle or mock those who do not adhere to society's gender norms or the struggles they face ... As an ABC viewer, I urge you not to air a show that reinforces negative and damaging stereotypes about transgender people.”

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