Although there are no transgender characters on the series, Drian Juarez, project manager for the Transgender Economic Empowerment Program at Los Angeles's Gay and Lesbian Center, finds the promo exploitive [sic]. In a statement released to the press, Juarez says, "What is clearly intended to be a humorous promotional ad for the show depicts the two lead characters, dressed as women, standing at a urinal. Sadly, it’s very common for people to promote fear of sharing the bathroom with transgender people as a means to further their prejudice. We’re frequently portrayed as sexual predators using the bathroom to make sexual advances."Here's the ad:
Kinser also quotes Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign:
"We've seen a lot of offensive things on TV over the years, but this really takes the cake... The so-called 'comedy' of Work It is based on the premise that male-bodied people who unsuccessfully attempt to present themselves as women are worthy of ridicule. The problem is that most transgender women find themselves in this situation, at least temporarily, during their transition process. And due to the prohibitively high costs of transition-related medical care and widespread insurance inequities, many may be visibly transgender for their entire lives."Speaking of what takes the cake, the best comedy movie ever made uses the same premise of 2 heterosexual men who dress as women. Is this premise to be avoided because it has something to do with an actual problem actual experienced by some people who may be sympathetic?
If the answer is yes, how many other subjects for comedy would you place off limits to protect the feelings of real people with real problems? Bad marriages, diseases, death, accidents, ugliness, mental illness, farting... ugh! Practically everything funny will be off limits! Or... I don't know... maybe you could still make a comedy about "human rights" activists who starchily insist that nobody laugh anymore. It could be about a group of TV writers — like the old "Dick Van Dyke Show" — except the network has added a "human rights" activist to their team, and she/he shoots down every comic idea they have.