The new ABC sitcom “Work It” has caused instant outrage in the Nuyorican community, mainly over the following line, delivered by an island-born Puerto Rican, Amaury Nolasco, about his skill set for a job at a pharmaceutical company:
“I’m Puerto Rican — I’d be great at selling drugs.”
This is of course incredibly offensive and demeaning to Puerto Ricans since it implies that a criminal activity caused by racial discrimination in terms of educational and job opportunity is an essential trait of an ethnoracial group from an island still held as a colony of the American Broadcasting Company. While not as egregious as the Seinfeld Puerto Rican flag episode, which literally desecrated our desire for self-determination as a people, this takes us back to the days of our across the board characterization as knife-wielding spics.
That being said, “Work It” is an equal-opportunity offender, a kind of lowbrow Mad magazine cheap-shot fest that seems like a desperate attempt to attract supporters of ex-candidates Michelle Bachman and Herman Cain bored by the Republican primary race. In the hopes that the rest of the 99% will share in our Boricua Indignation, here are the Top 10 Offensive Things About “Work It.”
10. Amaury Nolasco, whose job at a taco shop is supposed to be funny, looks horrible as a woman.
9. While women have nudged to over 50% of the workforce, they earn on average 20% less than men do. “Work It” traffics in the myth of a “man-cession” where women are portrayed as winners of the Great Recession.
8. Women in the office are portrayed as hysterical idiots who largely communicate in high-pitched shrieks.
7. Transgendered people are implied to be freaks with shameful secrets.
6. The loss of health insurance by a large swath of Americans is a thigh-slapping punch line to a joke about prostrate exams.
5. Pushing high profits for mega-pharma drug companies is shown as a desirable career track.
4. Ben Koldyke is a really horrible looking woman.
3. For men to imagine themselves as women is so shockingly horrible it’s supposed to be funny.
2. The rape scene in “The Accused” is invoked as part of a joke about a prostrate screening.
1. The Great Recession, and its ravaging of the middle, working, and lower classes, is a huge joke that is essential to the premise of “Work It.”