ABC Cancels Controversial Comedy 'Work It'

ABC has cancelled its new cross dressing comedy "Work It" after just 2 episodes, according to 

The Tuesday night comedy, about two men who dress as women in order to gain employment, debuted to a 2.0 rating in the adult demo last week, then dropped 20 percent this week to a 1.6, according to Entertainment Weekly.

As if dismal ratings weren't bad enough, the show, which aired its pilot episode on January 3, has been receiving a wave of criticism from a Puerto Rican grassroots campaign and GLAAD - the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.

The Puerto Rican campaign grew out of anger after one of the characters of the show, "Work It," said during the pilot episode: "I'm Puerto Rican. I would be great at selling drugs."

Puerto Ricans like, Julio Pabon Sr. immediately created a New York City Grassroots organization known as “Boricuas for a Positive Image” after the show’s premier in early January.  Their campaign almost immediately took off on Twitter and Facebook and the following night after the first episode 50 people braved subfreezing temperatures to protest in front of ABC’s Manhattan studios. They held signs and chanted: “I am Puerto Rican and not a drug dealer.”

Meanwhile, GLAAD, and other national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) advocacy organizations including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) started a media campaign against the show's potential to cause harm to transgender people.

On December 21, 2011, GLAAD and HRC placed a full-page ad in media industry publication Daily Variety "as part of a campaign to educate the media industry and the general public around the show." Both organizations say they had planned to have a meeting with ABC about the show.

The GLAAD ad read, "By encouraging the audience to laugh at the characters’ attempts at womanhood, the show gives license to similar treatment of transgender women."

ABC Entertainment Group President, Paul Lee, told a group of reporters at the annual television critics tour earlier this week that he didn't get what all the fuss was about.

“I didn’t really get it,” he said. “I loved Tootsie. I still love Tootsie. I didn’t get it. But that’s probably me.”

ABC will reportedly play reruns of Last Man Standing in the "Work It" time slot.

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