There's a new show on television called "Glee". Now, I'm not much of a TV watcher, but in the beginning, Glee left me feeling hopeful that this would be a show filled with humor and music that I could really sit back and enjoy. The humor employed by the writers has been anywhere from tongue in cheek to jaw-dropping. The music has been fun to listen to, albeit the lip-syncing talent of the performers falls short from perfect. (Yes, it's true. They do the recordings ahead of time, and then sync the songs when they perform them for the camera).
Then they bring in this nasty man, Dakota Stanley, an expensive choreographer...and in a matter of about a minute, the show went from 4 stars to no starts (0).
First, Mr. Stanley hands out information sheets...and very pointedly does not give one to the single member of the group who is most different from the rest. Next, the thick Black girl is told to begin a very unhealthy diet. Then he begins to talk about his plans for the group, beginning with Arty, a young man in a wheelchair.
"Arty, you're cut. You're not trying hard enough."
"At what?" asks Arty.
"At walking," says Mr. Stanley. "Can't be wheeling you around during every number. It throws off the whole dynamic, and it's depressing."
Next, he insults the thick African-American girl and kicks her out of the group...after he told her about her new diet that was to consist only of coffee. He moves further down the line, then tells a Semitic teenage girl that she needs a nose job. Is this supposed to be funny? At the end of the line, he comes to the tall young man who plays on the school's football team and also sings with the glee club, despite peer pressure to do otherwise. Mr. Stanley calls him "Frankenteen" because of his height.
"Why don't you wipe that dopey look off your face, and get some lotion for those knuckles you've been dragging on the ground."
(Insert sound of crickets chirping here)
That knuckle-dragging joke was absolutely phenomenal. Really, it gave me a phenomenal headache.
"What's wrong with you," the young man asks Mr. Stanley.
..."You're freakishly tall. I feel like a woodland creature," replies Mr. Stanley.
This behavior sparks defiance in half the glee club members. As they head for the door, Mr. Stanley quotes from the Bible!
"Separate the wheat from the chaff." This, of course, is completely out of context.
That sinking feeling I had just fell down into my toes.
From here, Dakota Stanley de-evolves into a full-blown, name-calling bigot, wrapping his words in a statement that connects his actions to the truth and winning.
He calls the young, Jewish girl "Yentl", then follows this statement with, "Misfits and spaz-heads and cripples can make it, too." This went too far for me.
The use of the word "cripple" is not verboten, when used in the right context, however, "It can be a nasty pejorative when used against a person with a disability, such as 'You're just a cripple.' " (http://peidisabilityalert.blogspot.com/2008/09/is-it-ok-to-say-cripple) FOX...I don't support you on many practices, but I was hoping this new show would be something different. Well, it's different, alright. It's different from my standard of entertainment. The show is mean-spirited, and revealing of the hearts of those who produced and wrote the script. Way to go, FOX...you've alienated me again.