How much does liberal ABC-Disney Television Network respect middle America?
First ABC’s Black-ish mocked fans who voted for Donald Trump in a much-derided promo over the weekend, now the network is gearing up to air When We Rise , a new eight-hour limited drama series chronicling the struggles and setbacks of LGBT activists in the 20th century.
Take a look at trailer for the show, which premieres on ABC in February. It appears to glorify burning police cars, as a police officer shouts “I don’t understand”, and people in authority scream about how “the city will not be taken over by incorrigibles and deviants,” and to “keep one step ahead of the blacks and homosexuals” and “[homosexuality is] an illness, it can be treated.”
The show’s gay creator, Dustin Lance Black, seems to be out to cause controversy by taking on Middle America. He seems to be relishing the stir he is trying to cause.
Lance Black told the TCA winter press tour: “This show is under attack from the alt-right online. But this show is not a war. Every single person in this world is a minority, depending on how you slice the pie, and this show is about how we are connected.”
That sounds fantastic, and unless you’re a prejudiced alt-right loon, a show with a strong message about minority rights starring Guy Pearce, Mary-Louise Parker, David Hyde Pierce and Rachel Griffiths should be approached with an open mind. After all law enforcement has evolved over the years in its treatment of minorities.
But ABC seems to be promoting an eight-hour miniseries that portrays most Americans as homophobic. Contrary to the impression from the show’s trailer, in reality not every straight American adopted a bigoted and hateful attitude towards LGBT people.
Lance Black won an Oscar for Milk but his 2010 directorial debut Virginia, starring Jennifer Connelly, was a disaster that even he described as “pretty bad”. When We Rise doesn’t sound like it’s going to be much better.
Gavin McInnes, co-founder of Vice Media and the host of The Gavin McInnes Show, called When We Rise a “dumb, leftist dystopian fantasy,” saying about one particular scene in the trailer featuring Whoopi Goldberg: “This is a teacher telling her students the fact that being gay, black and trans in America is now illegal and everyone’s getting beat up for those things means the youth have to fight.
“That would be true if that was a scenario that was even fathomable in America…the only place that isn’t going on is the west!”
ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey recently told the Hollywood Reporter: “We’ve always been a network that has prided itself on keeping diversity and inclusion at the forefront of our conversations.
“But we’ve largely been defining that from a racial perspective, a religious perspective, an ethnic perspective, and looking at it from the point of view of issues of gender and sexuality and not as much through the prism of economics and of cities versus small towns.”
On the evidence of When We Rise, that shift can’t come soon enough.