Are we wrong in thinking that big television networks have less of a history of making public apologies than the Pope? Perhaps. But one thing’s certain–it is a rare thing for a media behemoth such as ABC or NBC pull a product because of racist, stereotypical, or just plain distasteful portrayals. In light of which, the case of the doomed Work It is one for the books. If generations to come will judge our generation’s progress by its entertainment offerings, they would mark a sharp downswing in 2004 with White Chicks, a steep collapse in 2007 when Max/Moira joined the cast of The L Word, finally hitting rock bottom in 2009 with the rise of the Madea franchise. Around mid-2010 they would completely lose hope for us as a civilization, until coming upon this strange, unprecedented blip in the form of Work It‘s cancellation. Though ABC doesn’t seem to have made any statements or apologies admitting guilt, one can safely assume that the ass-backwards nature of the show’s attitude toward cross-dressing (as well as the economy–since when do women have an easier time getting hired than men?) is the cause for its demise.
Thanks in no small part to the relentless picketing of GLAAD, in the case of Civilization vs. The Media, civilization can today enjoy a minor victory.