Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Transphobic Make Over?

According to the LA Times Opinion:

“Mike and Molly” has gotten a makeover, and it’s not pretty. Billed as the “new Mike and Molly,” the show is now trying to capitalize on its star Melissa McCarthy’s breakout bawdy movie persona. The problem is that recent episodes of the show have been much in the style of “Two and a Half Men,” another of producer and writer Chuck Lorre’s shows. That is, it has amped up its derogatory jokes for laughs.

As Sue Kerr, founder and editor of the Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents, points out, the show’s transition into lewd humor has come at the expense of the LGBT community. For instance, in the second episode of the season, Mike takes Molly on a ride-along to help her get ideas to write a crime novel. On the ride-along, the two meet Lousette, a trans woman the characters repeatedly misgender and question about her genitals — as if that’s at all necessary to the story. We saw a hint of this so-called humor last season when the show landed in hot water with transgender advocates for using the term “shemale,” a term blogger Trish Mifflin describes as “exclusively associated with pornographic depictions of trans women.” To be called that is dehumanizing for someone who wants to be seen as a person, not a sex object.

After the incident, Kerr claims that GLAAD worked with CBS to make “Mike and Molly” more inclusive of LGBT people, or at least not overtly mock them. That clearly didn’t work out.

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A Life in Gender Flux