Showtime: Taking It Seriously
Reader unndunn was tired of seeing fat jokes on Showtime's commercials and shows, so she wrote a letter. Here it is:
I want to lodge a complaint about the offensive jokes being shown on Showtime as previews for the show Weeds and "I Can't Believe I'm Still Single" I love Showtime. I've been a subscriber for more than 15 years. It's my favorite channel. I love Weeds, Dexter, Big Brother After Dark, the L Word and everything else. I love the fact that you don't have to deal with censorship the way other broadcast channels do.
I watch Big Brother After Dark every night. During the show you cut to commercial several times to show upcoming series, episodes etc. For the past week I have had to watch the same clip from "I Can't Believe I'm Still Single" where the star of the show talks about wanting to have sex with a fat woman who is walking down the street with her friends. It's part of his show, and I can respect that, but it's really demeaning to that woman and all other fat women who hear these kinds of things all the time. Now, in the current Weeds commercial, the character Doug finds out that Andy has located the woman he has been wanting to see again. He asks Andy over the phone "did she get fat?" So, now several times a night, every night, I have to hear these slurs against fat women. It is hurtful. It makes me wonder why it's okay to put down fat people, especially women, and not even think twice about it. Not everyone lives in thin-obsessed LA. Real Americans with real bodies are your subscribers.
Once again, I love your channel, but I am finding myself not wanting to watch it at night because of these commercials. One line in an episode isn't a big deal to me. It can be humorous depending on how it's done. But the same line over and over and over again making a mockery of fat women is too much.
I am a member of a fat advocacy group and plan to let everyone know about this situation. I respectfully ask you to please consider how these clips may make your subscribers feel.
Nicely done. And the response?
Thank you for contacting us and for bringing this matter to our attention in this light. It is not the network's intention to insult or offend any of our viewers, and we understand that the repetition of these promotions could be found troubling.
Your comments have been forwarded to the individuals within our organization who are responsible for on-air promotion, and the matter is being seriously considered.
Thank you again for writing to us, and thanks as always for watching Showtime.
They're taking it seriously! Oy.
A somewhat interesting offshoot: Showtime's site features some full episodes of series - US only, unfortunately - including the "Obesity" episode of Penn and Teller's Bullshit!