Blog #10: Powerful Industry Women’s Take On The Culture of Sexual Harassment

Fresh off the Harvey Weinstein scandal, The Hollywood Reporter gathered five powerful women in the show running industry to talk about the issue of sexual harassment and the unfair ways women are treated as show runners and writers.

The host of the show asked everyone what they thought of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and what everybody though of it and Mara Brock Akil replied that she did not want or need to read that articles because she knew what was going on because she has seen it and heard it, and she has been there and done that. She says she is thankful for her path that she has not been sexually harassed but she understands the difficulty of working in the industry as a women and as a woman of color. Akil says she was discriminated against for being black. Akil was told that her content had no value. Terry Press says she knows Harvey Weinstein and said that he would not care what was said about him on the paper because he is a narcissist, and when you are a narcissist, you can not differentiate bad publicity.20171028_the_hollywood_reporter_power_and_progress_02_shot2_02_shot2_100_1_b_embed.jpg

Photo Courtesy of Corey Angelo

This really give you a perspective on who is really running our favorite movies and television shows. There are so many secrets in the industry that nobody comes out to the public with them because they know that it will destroy their own careers or backfire on them in some way or the public wouldn’t believe them or have support from others. When Harvey Weinstein’s secret came out, it was a huge culture shock to the American consumer of television and movies. Most of society is still male-dominated but we continue to make great strides to have a more and more diverse group of people in every type of profession. Discrimination is still relevant to most professions as most are still being discriminated. However, society is constantly on top of the injustices in the world and with the help of powerful minorities and women in high positions in their field. 20171028_the_hollywood_reporter_power_and_progress_08_bts_08_bts_133_embed.jpg

Photo Courtesy Of Corey Angelo

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Blog #9: Death On TV

Death. The end of existence on our planet is something that should not be taken lightly. Television depicts death in many ways, sometimes you see somebody die every episode and sometimes a whole show is based on one death. Death should never be celebrated and should not be used as a way to sell a program to audiences. There is no doubt that during sweeps week, networks kill of characters in their shows just for views and that gets more people watching. However, they are not killing the characters for the right reasons. They are killing off key characters just for the sake of ratings rather than killing off characters because the writers feel the it would be the best idea for the show.

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Theo Galavan dies in GOTHAM… Photo Courtesy of FOX

Deaths are crucial to most stories and we realize that sometimes deaths can be used for the sake of ratings. In the business of social networking and broadcasting, companies sell audiences to advertisers to make money. However, most deaths in television should show more drama and show mourning sequences, especially if that character was a well-loved character. Death on television is necessary because if they are trying to portray a story, it would be very difficult to capture the essence of death if they death is not seen and that would not call for the perfect television experience. Kids watching death on television could be harmful but could be beneficial. If kids are watching violence depicted on television, it must be made clear to the kid that killing someone is not moral and not accepted in society. However, if a kid is mature enough to realize that death is a real thing and is something that can not be erased. Sesame Street taught children a way of coping with death and that is something we can consider to be a good thing. However, if we see shows that suggest people who commit suicide are in a powerful position rather than a mental disorder that should be treated, that should not be shown to children or impressionable teenagers and young adults.

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Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Blog 8: Racial Representations on TV (The Office: “Diversity Day”)

In the second episode of the very first season of The Office, we see the show take on the social issue of racism and how it is handled in the workplace. An African American gentleman comes into the office to talk about diversity due to Michael Scott’s very offensive Chris Rock impression. Michael Scott then tries to assist the gentleman in the diversity training course when in reality, he was the only onerequired to take the course and sign the completion certificate to which he wrote the out the signature for ‘Daffy Duck’.

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Photo Caption Courtesy Of Pinterest User: THEOFFICESCREENCAPS

After the diversity instructor leaves, Michael then decides to teach diversity appreciation his way by having the office put index cards of ethnicities on their head and have the employees say horrible stereotypes to their fellow coworkers to see what it feels like to be a minority. Michael Scott is completely oblivious as usual to what he says to his fellow co-workers and very clearly does not know what is appropriate in the office (a common theme in the show). The office employees handled Michael how most would in this given situation. The staff were very offended and Kelly, who is of Indian descent, slapped Michael in the face after his very racist impression of an Indian convenient store worker. The writers of the show were clearly trying to get the audience to laugh at the ignorance of Michael Scott rather than the stereotypical jokes themselves. This was a episode clearly not intended to promote racism but rather address it in the workplace. It was a very silly and whacky episode yet it addressed the stereotypes that minorities have probably heard once or twice in the workplace. The episode addresses the issue in a comedic way but also provide a cautionary tale to most that one ought not be as ignorant as Michael Scott.

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Photo Courtesy of NBC.com

 

Blog Post #6: Gender on TV (I went out of order)

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is a prime example of showing stereotypes and the sociopathic status of some men. The perfect example of how the gang treats women is in the episode, “The D.E.N.N.I.S. System”. In the episode, we see Dennis explaining his system to the gang to show how he can manipulate girls to have a dying love for him through harassment, deceit, and emotional separation.

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Photo Courtesy of FX

Dennis hits on a cute pharmacist by filling out a fake prescription for his nonexistent grandmother in an attempt to convince the girl that he is caring gentleman when in reality, just wants to get in her pants. He then does something horrible like call posing as a murderer on a payphone and freaking the lady out and then comes to the girl’s rescue knowing that there is no danger. He then separates from the girl entirely. The rest of the gang are too stupid to follow this system correctly and Charlie breaks into his love interest’s house and breaks the sink and then attempts to fix it even though he does not know how. Throughout the episode, the only thing the gang tries to do is to attempt to seduce girls reaffirming women’s stereotypes about men and how all men are dogs. Throughout the show and the episode, they constantly put down the only main female character in the show, Dee. Even Dee’s father, Frank Reynolds, is known to call his daughter very derogatory names. The gang is constantly rude to women and treats them as objects. In general, the have no respect for anybody. In other episodes, the gang takes on many different social and political issues in their show such as racism, underage drinking, gun control, abortion, and homophobia. They often are defending whatever way benefits them. This includes promoting their bar as a gay bar, pretending to be pro life to seduce a woman, and saying racist thing not realizing what they are saying is offensive. They show constantly pokes fun at the only female lead character which to some overtime gets annoying, but the gang is so horrible and so is Deeandra herself that it makes sense to watch the narcissists bash the other narcissist.dennis 2.jpgPhoto Courtesy of FX

Blog #7: LGBTQ on Television

Over the course of the last three decades, there has been a great increase in the amount of homosexual characters portrayed on television. The main reason for this was the increasing number of gay pride movements and the gradual decriminalization of homosexuality. The reason we did not see gay people on television prior to the last three decades was because it was illegal.

Stereotypical representation of gay people on television is something that should have never been on television and it would have been better if there was no representation of the community at all. People who are homophobic are homophobic in the first place because of the stereotypes and when homophobic people are exposed to same trends of the homophobic stereotype, not only are they uncomfortable, but they are armed with knowledge and ways to mimic how gay people act or talk. This is a bad situation for all three parties of people. It is bad for people who are homosexual because they are often going to be bullied and the rate of suicide among the LGBTQ community is high enough, suicide rates are to be deceased greatly as years pass, not increase. It is bad for homophobic people because they will often get called out for there ways and they will be considered by people in this day in age as bigots. It is also bad for people who aren’t homophobic and not part of the LGBTQ community, as they are the ones who have to listen to the bigotry and also have to be a bystander or a listener of the hatred between two parties.

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Photo Courtesy of TIME

It is not important for young gay people to see gay people on television because it should not matter who you see on television, as long as you can entertain and you have a passion for show business, you will make it in show business. One thing that is important  to most LGBTQ people, is the freedom of expression. So young gay people should be able to express themselves with or out without the help of watching gay people on television. Young LGBTQ people should express themselves without influence of stereotypes that are commonly depicted on television. If they want to express themselves like they see on television, there is nothing wrong with that either. They don’t have to see gay characters on television because the big media producers are the ones who are writing the characters, not the community itself.

The best television shows on television right now in my opinion are Rick and Morty, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, Survivor, The Good Place, and The Office. Of these shows, we only see one character from The Office and a couple contestants on the recent seasons of Survivor, the character of Oscar is often identified almost always as gay, which what the members of the office talk about in a comedic but not homosexual way. Survivor represented Zeke as a hero, which is accurate, he was a good player and being outed by another gay man was a something that was unfortunate and shouldn’t have happened.

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Photo Courtesy of Office Wiki

Poem: This Is The Comeback

Sicker than the criminals behind bars

Sicker than the time they took me to Mars

Tripping up the stairs in Converse

Tripping up language, hard to converse

Test your limits, but be smart

Be sure to never take what they say to heart

You have no time to murder

Time could be your friend if you were wise going further

Our brains are thought machines and vocal cords will filter

Always be polite to him and her

Before you chalk up the life as a bunch of quack

Always remember that this is the comeback

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Blog Post #5: I Love Lucy & Old TV Culture

Television back then was much different then television today. In the 50s and 60s, the television screens showed mostly white men and you only had three or four channels to choose from. But it started to change when a lead female character emerged onto the screen after her very successful radio show. Lucille Ball and her new television show, I Love Lucy came to television in 1951. It was a very traditional custom television show. Meaning Lucille’s husband, Ricky, would often go to work while Lucille would do the cleaning and taking care of the house. In the traditional American household, men would make the money and women stayed home to take care of the house (a tradition that has changed overtime). Lucy was the traditional housewife. What made the show a smashing success was Lucille’s silly antics and how often she would spend her husband’s money. A common theme in the show was that Lucy was a spendthrift and often tried to get ways to make money so that they could continue to live modestly.

Lucille Ball And Desi Arnaz In 'I Love Lucy'

Photo Courtesy of cbs.com

A good example of the show staying true to the 1950s values is in the episode “The Quiz Show”, where Lucy loses her charge account because she spent too much of Ricky’s money and did not use any money to pay rent and utilities. This was a common job for women to do. They had to use money to buy household items and pay for utilities. Lucille then goes on a game show called “Females are Fabulous”, where she had to do silly things to win $1000. The game show itself was very degrading and the game show host even said women would do anything to win money. This would not have passed in the modern day. Another thing one couldn’t help but notice is that throughout the episode they referred to Lucy as “Mrs. Ricky Ricardo”. It was very common for women to be called by their husbands names back then and not very common today.

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Photo Courtesy of cbs.com

However, this show was very ground-breaking for the 50s. Lucy’s husband is of Cuban descent, something very uncommon to see on TV was interracial couples. People of different ethnicities were not commonly seen on television. Lucille herself was a very powerful actress. The television network asked her to do a television show and Lucy agreed after her demands were met. She played a strong role in television and was very popular. It wasn’t all that common for a woman to be a very successful television celebrity in that time as well. In summary, television overtime has changed greatly. Television often molds to the society and society often molds and learns from television.

Blog #4: Product Placement & Integration

Product placement and integration over the years has played a bigger and bigger role in television shows, movies, and even in music videos. Product placement is apparent enough in some television shows, but when they start to incorporate (integrate) the products and talk about the products highly in the script of a television show… it can become apparent and in certain situations… annoying. However, if you passively binge watch episodes that are entertaining… you can sometimes barely notice that programs are being paid to talk about their business or product. A good example of this taking place is on the the sitcom Arrested Development in the ‘Motherboy XXX’ episode when Carl Weathers takes Tobias to Burger King.

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Photo Credits: culledculture.com (Carl and Tobias at BK)

Carl Weathers takes Tobias to Burger King because he’s trying to get money for his television show by setting one of his scenes at Burger King and then Tobias responds with, “As long as you don’t bring too much attention to it”, which is one of the key rules of product integration: being subtle. What astute viewers may have noticed is the constant name drops of the restaurant and the reminder that we get free refills is that the Arrested Development was advertising for Burger King. Arrested Development is one of those strange sitcoms with reoccurring inside jokes and classic quotable moments… so, product integration worked perfectly, it’s done in such a way were the show is still odd and funny… so if you were to use product integration, the easiest way to do it would be on a strange comedy program like Arrested Development.

The Amazing Race has product integration that is very obvious and very annoying. The show is sponsored by Travelocity. This makes sense, it is a show where contestants travel around the world. However, the show incorporates challenges where they use the Travelocity Gnome. This is fine, but the challenges are way to easy and it does take away from the show’s action. They also use the Ford Focus eco-friendly cars and contestants had to use them in a challenge as Phil and other contestants talk for three or four minutes about how nice the “Ecoboosted” Ford Focus cars are.

In summary, hyper-commercialism is something nobody really asked for. It it just another excuse to get big companies to pedal to the people their new merchandise. However, if this is the money the show needs to push for higher production value, it may be worth the write in some scenarios. In comedy shows hyper commercialism works best because at most times, its very funny, and they often mock it, which audiences find entertaining.

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Photo Credits: CBS

“Most Likely To Sleep In Class” (But Still Make Honor Roll)

Whoever thought of high school senior polls is quite simply… a popular idiot. It is pretty much a judge of popularity and a mix of stereotyping what somebody saw one day. With that being said, when I got my senior yearbook, I was not very pleased with what my senior class thought about me. I was voted “Most Likely To Sleep In Class”. Now I’m not going to lie about it, I was really upset that’s how the classmates saw me and now when my fellow classmates look back and read they will think that I am a kid who did not do well in school. Granted, there were classes that I found so boring that I could not help but to close my eyes… but in my defense, didn’t we all have classes like that? I only did this when we had free time at the end of class or when students were doing an assignment that I already completed.

In a way this fueled me to strive even harder in college, I was already doing well in high school and I graduated with an average that most find commendable (93). Also, not receiving any scholarships on class night was also a motivational factor for me to kick some serious ass in college. I often remember these things when I sit down to do homework and go to the gym. I now workout just about everyday and have yet to receive a graded college assignment below a “B”.

I think people should look at the senior polls at their reunions and then compare them to where they are today. I bet you that most senior polls are inaccurate. In the end, I’m not bitter or angry… I had problems in high school and so did most people. The point is, people’s perception of you does not always have to be a measure your worth… overcome what people think of you and use it as a motivational factor to achieve greatness and sooner or later, people won’t help but notice your accomplishments as they could be made public (famous????).

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Blog #3: Survivor Game Changers: “Why haven’t you told anyone you are transgender?”

On the last season of Survivor, a man by the name of Jeff Varner outed a fellow contestant named Zeke Smith, as being transgender. The viewers and media were outraged and rightfully so. It was a mistake that cost Varner his job, spot on the show, and most likely his dignity. The full story can best be explained at this link here. (Link Credits: Samantha Allen and dailybeast.com)

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Photo Credit: Timothy Kuratek/CBS (Picture of Zeke Smith)

LGBTQ is a very controversial and popular cultural topic, as more and more states legalize gay rights and more people “come out” each year. Whether one agrees about LGBTQ community being accepted or not, most people agree that outing someone or stripping them of the right to tell their friends and family (especially on national television) is considered to be very immoral. Varner did not realize that he was not telling his tribe, but a whole national audience and Zeke’s circles (some of which did not know he was a trangender). Zeke did not want to be known as the “transgender” but as the guy who plays the game. Varner realized what he did was wrong and tried to apologize, but the damage was done. Varner, like Zeke is a gay man and knows how it feels to be oppressed, but not outed. Many of the teammates stood up in Zeke’s defense and unanimously voted Varner out of the game.

The author of the article at dailybeast.com wrote the perfect recap of the story, showing tweets that Jeff Probst posted and the apology tweet that Jeff Varner sent out. The author was mostly reporting the story as it came out, but one would belief that she agreed with the majority that what Varner had done should not have happened as the author of the story ended the article with…”But hopefully he can go back to being “Zeke the Survivor player”—as he said he wanted to be known after Varner outed him—not “the first transgender Survivor star.” As his fellow contestants reassured him, “Zeke the Survivor player” is exactly who he is.” (actual quote from the article).

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Photo Credits: cbs.com (picture of Jeff Varner)