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ABC Cancels “Work It”, But This Kind Of Thing Will Happen Again

By Jack Tomas

On Friday, ABC wised up and decided to put us all out of our misery and cancel “Work It”. The show only ran for two episodes but managed to piss-off every Latino and LGBT rights group in the country. Latinos were angry because of the stereotypical portrayal of Latinos on the show, especially after a character said, “I’m Puerto Rican. I would be great at selling drugs.” The LGBT community was mad because of the stereotypical and insensitive way it portrayed transgendered people. Everyone else hated the show because it was a steaming pile of dog crap that is just one more nail in the coffin of Western Civilization.

We’d like to think that we had a small part to play in the show’s demise. We wrote about it here and here. If we can help get one crappy show that insults our people off the air, we’re doing our job. The problem lies in the endemic racism of Hollywood. When this author isn’t writing hilarious stories here on Tu Vez, I work as a professional filmmaker. I’ve been in the belly of the beast, my friends and it isn’t pretty. Make no mistake, the people who run Hollywood are still middle-aged white dudes. Back in the golden age of Hollywood, guys like Louis B. Mayer and Samuel Goldwyn ran the entertainment business. The difference between them and the guys who call the shots now is that they were film guys who knew and loved movies. Today, they are mostly corporate hacks with all of the creativity of a rotting deer carcass on I-95. They just don’t get it.

The president of ABC, Paul Lee, told reporters he didn’t understand why everyone was so mad. He mentioned the Dustin Hoffman classic “Tootsie” as a comedy that had a crossdressing protagonist. He also said that the Puerto Rican drug dealer thing sounded racist taken out of the context of the show. I’m pretty sure it sounds racist in any context. The show was poorly written, badly shot, and terribly acted, so for that reason alone it should have been cancelled. The problem is the tone, which was condescending and dripping with racism and homophobia. The problem I run into as a Latino in the media is that they are A) Surprised that a Latino could not get shot in a gang war or knock a girl up long enough to go to film school, and B) That I’m not interested only in telling stories about people living in El Barrio. When I presented producers with a project about a nerdy Latino kid that lives in the suburbs, I actually had someone say to me, “Why don’t you put him in the hood? That’s more believable.” I was a nerdy Latino kid that grew up in the suburbs! Are you telling me I don’t exist? Do I look like a unicorn to you?

The bottom line is that until we can get some more of our people in the high level positions in Hollywood, nothing is going to change. It’s not good enough for us to have people like Guillermo Del Toro or Sofia Vergara, if we don’t have people at the top. They who control the purse strings control Hollywood, and right now we are holding someone else’s purse in the bitch chair outside of the changing room of the entertainment business.

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