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GLAAD slaps Glee over Rocky Horror

GLAAD has criticised the Rocky Horror episode of Glee for using the word "tranny" in reference to a transsexual.

The Gay And Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination in the US has criticised Rocky Horror episode of Glee for using the word “tranny” in reference to a transsexual.

The slap follows an earlier chastising of MTV’s Jersey Shore for the same misdemeanour.

In the episode which aired in Australia last night, Mike Chang (Harry Shum Jr) pulled out of the role of Frank-N-Furter because his parents didn’t want him to look like a “tranny”.

In a post on GLAAD’s website, the lobby group said: “The casual manner in which the word was used is jarring, even if he may have been repeating what his parents said.

“The show’s inclusion of the word ‘tranny’ was made all the more confusing by the decision to change the word ‘transsexual’ to ‘sensational’ in the song ‘Sweet Transvestite’. As many commentators have pointed out, it seems strange that FOX would want the word ‘transsexual’ cut from a well-known song, but find ‘tranny’ acceptable.”

The organisation continued: “This inclusion of this slur is particularly alarming given last season’s powerful episode in which Kurt’s father chastised Finn for using the word ‘f*g’. That episode sent a powerful message to the show’s young fanbase that words have power and they can hurt.

“Unfortunately the larger problem here is that the word ‘tranny’ has become an easy punchline in popular culture, and many still don’t realise that using the term is hurtful, dehumanising and associated with violence, hatred and derision against transgender people – a community that is nearly invisible in media today.”

As enjoyable as the Rocky Horror songs were, there were certainly some odd choices made to accommodate it within a show so popular with middle America.

During a discussion about the musical’s adult themes teacher Will Scheuster (Matthew Morrison) told his students:

“Isn’t that the whole point of the arts? Pushing boundaries? Doing things you can’t do for the sake of self-expression? I got it all figured out. I cut out some of the more risque sections. And I’m sending Permission Slips to all your parents to make sure they’re ok with it.”

Say what?

Shouldn’t it have really been something along the lines of:

“Isn’t that the whole point of the arts? Pushing boundaries? Doing things you can’t do for the sake of self-expression? I got it all figured out. We’re going to perform every single word and sing every note as written to uphold the integrity of the work and ourselves.”

Mr. Scheuster was flip-flopping on performing the show through the whole episode until he confusingly decided dammit, we’re going to perform this come hell or high water. And we’re going to perform it without an audience!

He was the only person sitting in the audience for the closing scene of the Time Warp.

Yeah, musicals were really written to be seen as a dress rehearsal by their teacher and never by the public.

If they didn’t want to step up to the work, why go there in the first place? Weird.

Meanwhile MTV apologised for an episode of Jersey Shore after GLAAD ruled what they deemed to be “one of the most blatantly transphobic scenes aired anywhere on television in the last few years.” During this season of the show, Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino, was out at a club, chatting up a person he presumed to be a woman but turned out to be transgendered. Afterward, he and other members of the crew threw around the word “tranny.”

MTV vowed to remove the footage from future broadcasts of the show. “The segment in question was certainly not meant to be insensitive, but in retrospect we realise that it was offensive to some viewers,” the network wrote in a statement. “We sincerely apologise.”

Source: Digital Spy

31 Responses

  1. What about how bad the actual episode was? The sanitising of the lyrics was really a concession to American TV audiences rather than how the show described it. Glee is like bad Young Talent Time with some kind of teen Disney show thrown in. I can’t believe so many people think it’s actually good. In about two years’ time people will be shaking their heads at how lame it is.

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