There is a lot of television I do not watch.
Don't get me wrong. I watch too much television, but it's often cooking shows or men at work, like This Old House, or travel shows like Rick Steves. And I'm a sucker for a good mystery. Elementary currently has my attention.
But I try mightily to avoid being exposed to today's culture. So I don't watch Jimmy Kimmel or Mike & Molly. And apparently that's a good thing.
GLAAD has called out CBS for an transphobic scene in Mike & Molly. It's just not cool, dudes -- By dudes, I refer to the actor, the producer, the director, and the writers…any of whom could have stood up and said, loudly,
The offensive scene came within the first few minutes of the February 11 episode entitled “The Princess and the Troll.” In the scene, the show’s main character Mike is talking with his police partner and best friend Carl about Carl’s checkered romantic past of picking up downtrodden women off the street:
Carl: It’s been a long time since I’ve trolled for bus pass ass.
Mike: (Laughing) Not since the shemale incident of ’08. You spent the whole night crying and gargling!
Carl: Learned a lot of lessons that night.
The use of the derogatory term “shemale” is offensive in and of itself, but Mike goes on to categorize what happened as a traumatic experience which left Carl disgusted and weeping with regret. The joke relies on the assumption that transgender people (and the thought of being with one) are revolting, and invites the audience to laugh right along. And last night that audience was 10.4 million people.
I know. "It's just a joke."
Right. We transpeople are all just jokes, you know. And we have no senses of humor.
Like we might even get offended by this obviously hilarious bit on KImmel:
That's just too cute, Jimmie. What a gift for Valentine's Day. It almost ranks up there with the time you joked about violence against transwomen (hitting trannies with axes video since removed). Or his skit about the transgender question at Miss USA…oh, darn, that's been scrubbed as well.
I don't watch American Idol either. But during research for this diary, I ran into Kez Ban's audition for the show.
It is not surprising that Ban said this before performing:
Before we get started, can I ask you one question? If you think I am destined to the bloopers reel in a way the would embarrass my mother, let me know right now and I will leave.
CBS has also committed to meeting with GLAAD staff to discuss the offensive scene, as well as a number of other incidents on CBS comedies and dramas in the past year that increasingly add up to a disturbing trend. GLAAD is calling on CBS to put an end to anti-trans content for the sake of a laugh and to treat trans issues with greater sensitivity.