A month ago, Lauren Bans coined the term gaycism, defined as “the wrongheaded idea that having gay characters gives you carte blanche to cut PC corners elsewhere.” Bans fingered the sitcoms Modern Family, The New Normal, Partners, and Two Broke Girls as major offenders.
The case of Two Broke Girls is especially frustrating. I want to see a show centering on two women who have ambitions beyond the romantic. I want to see an awesome show about female friendship which tackles class and economic issues and has characters of color. I want to watch and like that show; Two Broke Girls is not that show.
Two Broke Girls is like your white gay friend who thinks he’s entitled to say whatever he pleases because he’s been oppressed, so he’s allowed to oppress other people and call it being an “equal opportunity offender.” He’s earned the right to be a racist, insensitive asshole, because I guess he asked Audre Lorde and she said it was okay?
Lang also criticizes The New Normal, which comes to us from the mind of Glee's Ryan Murphy:
Remember hipster racism? This is that turned up to 11, like Murphy throwing a big blackface party on TV. However, the biggest issue with pointing it out is that people often don’t realize that such “ironic racism” is still just racism. And what actually makes the show’s gaycism so doubly troubling is that the act of being systemically oppressed should make people more aware of the ways in which they have the ability to marginalize others, because they have experienced the same thing themselves.
Read the whole piece; it's great, and full of links to other great pieces.
Television right now is a bitter disappointment. It gives with one hand while taking away with the other. You can have a show about female friendship, but only if it's full of racist stereotypes. You can have a show about gay parents, but only if it's crammed with racist jokes. You can have one nice thing, but only if it's garnished with horribleness.
My television will be intersectional or it will be bullshit. This year, the networks seem to have picked bullshit.