ABC cancels controversial cross-dressing sitcom

Network yanks 'Work It' after just two airings

ABC cancels controversial cross-dressing sitcom
16 January 2012

After generating more controversy than ratings, the sitcom Work It has been canceled by ABC after just two airings.

The show, about two men who dress as women to land sales jobs, will be replaced on the network's Tuesday night schedule this week by an additional episode of the Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the Human Rights Campaign and transgender activists had tried in vain to convince ABC not to air the show because they feared it could contribute to the high levels of job discrimination that transgender Americans face.

'While many of ABC’s positive and groundbreaking portrayals of LGBT people have been critical and popular successes, the public had little interest in this outdated show,' GLAAD's Herndon Graddick said in response to the cancellation.

GLAAD and HRC placed an ad in the Hollywood trade paper Daily Variety last month pointing out that 'by encouraging the audience to laugh at the characters’ attempts at womanhood, the show gives license to similar treatment of transgender women.'

'As a result of this campaign, an important dialogue has been started in Hollywood and mainstream media about the real discrimination faced by transgender people today.' Graddick added.

ABC President Paul Lee told the press at the TV Critics Winter Press Tour last week that he didn't get what all the fuss was about.

'But maybe it's me,' he said. 'In terms of the lesbian and gay community, we're incredibly proud of the work that ABC does,' Lee said. 'That's not just Modern Family, it's 'Grey's Anatomy, it's Private Practice, it's 'Dancing With the Stars. But in that particular case… I didn't really get it. I love Tootsie… I still love Tootsie. I don't find it to be offensive. So in that particular case I didn't get it.'

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