The ABC sitcom Work It is under
fire by gay rights groups before it has even premiered.
In the series, which premieres on
January 3, Lee Standish (played by Ben Koldyke) and Angel Ortiz
(Amaury Nolasco) play two unemployed men who land jobs as sales
representatives for a pharmaceutical company dressed as women. (A
trailer for the show is embedded in the right panel of this page.
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In criticizing the show, the Gay
and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) said it
reinforces mistaken transgender stereotypes.
“Transphobia is still all too
prevalent in our society and this show will only contribute to it,”
said Mike Thompson, the group's acting president. “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.”
Drian Juarez, program manager of the
Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center's Transgender Economic Empowerment
Program, criticized one scene in which the men use a urinal while
dressed as women.
“Sadly, it's very common for people
to promote fear of sharing the bathroom with transgender people as a
means to further their prejudice,” Juarez said. “We're
frequently portrayed as sexual predators using the bathroom to make
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human
Rights Campaign (HRC), has called for a meeting with ABC executives
to discuss the show's content, Gay
Star News reported.