Dear Sir or Madam,
I am writing to file a grievance. To call for justice for hundreds or even thousands of raging and hurting souls, whose voices were muted or ignored by the hit-series GLEE.
Glee started out as a show for the underdogs, projecting a positive overall message of equality and anti-bullying. However, along it’s third season, Glee has done an injustice to the show’s ‘underdogs’, the lesbians or rather female audience. Equality does not mean that you get to consistently belittles the role of women and disregard or trash the legitimate complaints of your female audience. Instead of promoting anti-bullying, Glee may not realize that it’s encouraging bullying and may have grown into an arrogant bully himself.
The above comment is made in reference to the Glee episode “I Kissed a Girl”, which was supposed to be about a teen lesbian coming to terms with her sexuality but sadly, was tainted by the writer into a frat boy’s fantasy; in which guys got to dominate, girls didn’t have a say. The lesbian “coming out” storyline was severely misguided, sending a message of consequence-free outing and male salvation. Not only was it offensive to lesbians and queers, but to women in general. Except other than the one well-played and meaningful scene in Santana’s heartfelt talk with her abuela, which was written by Ali Adler. The atrocious writing of “I Kissed a Girl” was such travesty and insult to women that it shouldn’t be acceptable on TV in this day and age.
“I Kissed a Girl” is a psychological abuse to it’s female audience. The teen boy interference with the coming out process of a teen lesbian and it’s somewhat obvious use of “I Kissed A Girl” and “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” as coquettish interludes is sending out a wrong message to Glee’s young audience. And it’s ironic that the storyline that should have represented lesbians or queers fans, leave us embittered, traumatized and feeling unsafe.
And the worst part is the Glee writers who had heard our uproar of dismay and disapproval since that episode aired months ago, never bother to acknowledge the issue or address our concern. Apparently, they refuse or are afraid to deal with the issues arisen from that disastrous episode, else why are they dismissing and avoiding fans’ and journalists’ legit critiques?
I find it amusing that Glee, who preach about honesty and self-acceptance, hire writers who are only interested in praises and positive feedbacks, but ignore and block people who voice criticism.
What’s even more disgusting is the incompetent writer, aka the man behind “I Kissed a Girl”, aka Matthew Hodgson; who’s been flashing his ego, continuing self-congratulation, as if blindly insisting that “IKAG is as good as gold” and antagonize a young fanbase who lashed out because the very legit complaint has never been addressed in the first place. And he even had the audacity to shrug off responsibility by trying to convince people that “Glee is supposed to be fun”, “Glee is about opening yourself to joy”. Well, obviously he’s been building his ‘fun’ and ‘joy’ on our misery. This is exactly how bullies shrug off responsibility, “Nothing wrong. We didn’t do anything. Everything fine.”
Let’s face it. Glee with a large teen fanbase, is never ‘just a tv show about fun and joy’. It is a medium with a big influence, especially kids n teenagers take away something from Glee, and they learn from the characters. We would have expected no less from Glee and we support the show’s efforts to consider the lives of underdogs and young gays and help educate other people as to what those lives are like. But it’s such a shame because when Ryan Murphy first decided to address the lives of underdogs and gay teens, he started off in the best way possible and Glee had so much potential. And we were hoping our brothers will back us up and show us due respect when portraying female or lesbian characters. But to our disappointment, Glee is just another misogynistic and sexist show.
And how Glee gets away with and is being celebrated for the abomination of Santana’s “coming out” storyline; and the new writers’ attitude towards audience, mostly girls, who voiced criticism, as if treating us as inferiors and our opinions as less importance… All these, speak so much about what Glee has become and how much they care and respect female. Perhaps the educator should first educate themselves, before dishing out their weekly moral themes.
Some may question why am I still grieving since that episode had past so long ago. Well, because, even after months, the aftermath of that episode still lingers. The disturbing facts that kids still think it’s perfectly OK and probably a good deed or heroic act to out lesbians; bullies still harassing girls with an acoustic version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”; the silently fuming and hurting minority who was abused and abandoned by Glee, still facing the torment alone and Glee knows that we have every right to be furious. These will continue to be a problem until Glee is brave enough to stand up and address the root of all evil ~ “I Kissed a Girl”.
What tipped the scale for me to be desperate enough to file a grievance is because we are left with no avenue. Even Glaad, the media watchdog who supposed to hold the media accountable for unfair coverage and representations of LGBT, choose to turn a blind eye. Just like Glee, Glaad heard our complaints and protests, but chose to ignore them and once again, our voices were muted against our will.
To add salt to our wound, in Glaad’s infinite wisdom, Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith (the infamous Santana and Finn from Glee) was called on to host the Glaad Media Awards. And of course, no panels or interviews about the sensitive subject was allowed. Just PR opportunism with lip service to real support. Apparently, we will never get a honest and real discussion about “IKAG” from Glee or Glaad. After all, words and images matter, right?
What’s even more mind-boggling was Naya Rivera’s dismissive comments about that offensive episode. Miss Rivera who used to advocate how she wanted her lesbian storyline to be taken seriously, and used to say “this storyline is important to me”, “this is people’s real lives”, “it’s harder for girls because no one really takes them seriously”. But somehow has changed her direction to “Storylines are storylines. I had fun doing it. I didn’t see anything offensive about it”.
I understand that she’s an ambitious budding star, but this is just disappointing, because Naya Rivera is sort of an icon to many teen queers and her words have an impact on them. And how “IKAG” storyline was handled in general is wrong on so many levels. If she doesn’t see it or refuses to see it, then I doubt she really understands or cares about the lesbians’ issues. And I wonder if she’s truly an advocate for LGBT community or just an opportunist?
Glee constantly applaud how it saved lives. Naya Rivera also constantly praise how Santana’s storyline has helped girls. However, no one ever acknowledge how many that one episode could potentially endanger, is dangerously irresponsible.
I’m talking as a forced-out-of-the-closet lesbian and rape victim, who knows that it’s definitely not easier for girls to “come out” and how bullies take lesbians as boys’ entertainment. And it’s really depressing to watch how Glee portrayed lesbian. Aren’t lesbians about hot girls swaying seductively and a kind of titillation for boys’ pleasure? Isn’t lesbianism about boys’ fantasy, in which boys become a lesbian’s savior and the hot lesbian submitting to his teaching? Instead of educating the bullies, that episode actually encouraged those hypocrite guys to have every reason to “help me”, “teach me a lesson” and claim what they did to me is “for my own good”. And to add on to that, now the bullies have the privilege to sing “Girls just wanna have fun”. Glee is more than a silly tv show about fun and joy, it affects people’s life. And storylines are never just storylines.
Negative representation at times are worse than no representation. The Glee writer behind “I Kissed a Girl” is doing harm in the name of good and trying to justify it. He should be accountable for his insensitive and irresponsible writing.
To the creator of Glee. If you believe in humanity and live by Glee’s motto, please stop ignorantly closing your eyes and pretending it never happened. The offensive “I Kissed a Girl” episode is not something you should “get over”, it’s not something you should ignore so you can continue glorifying your show. And we will never ever stop feeling angry and hurt until the “IKAG” issue is addressed.
To Naya Rivera and Cory Monteith, who did an anti-bullying PSAs with Glaad. Please practice what you preach. Take a stand against bullying. Speak out in support of equality.
To Glee writers. Please educate yourself before educating others. We understand that nobody’s perfect, people make mistake. But doesn’t Glee taught you about “honesty” and “courage”? Please be responsible adults and set a good example to Glee’s young fanbase. Accept criticism and stop dismissing or avoiding issues that need to be address and fix.
To the man behind “I Kissed a Girl”, aka Mr Hodgson. We know that you are hungry for fame, but please do not try to influence the ignorant young fans with their idol’s power. (To the braindead stans. Please have some self-respect. If your idol’s a good role model, she wouldn’t want you to sacrifice your conscience and dignity for her attention.) Please grow some balls and stop shrugging off responsibility. Be a mature middle-age man, own up the mess you created and stop antagonizing or mocking Glee’s young female fans. Educate yourself and stop treating lesbianism as a joke or tainted it with your fantasy.
To whoever involved with the atrocious writing of “I Kissed a Girl”. It’s important to acknowledge and address the severely mishandled episode. The issue has been ignored for way too long. The problem will not resolve by itself. Please take a stand against bullying by addressing the offensive “IKAG” episode. Please let the kids know that Outing someone (intentional or not) for any reason is never right! Please tell the bullies that lesbians are not objects for boys’ entertainment and it’s not cool to ‘serenade’ girls with “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”! Last but not least, we, the fuming and hurting, need a closure. Compare to the prolonged torment you put us through, is a simple apology or an acknowledgement from you too much to ask for?
To everyone who read this. It is important for Glee to acknowledge and address the unresolved issues. Please uphold justice and help girls who are deeply hurt by “IKAG”, demand our rightful closure. Please bring the issue to their attention by spreading the word.
To the honourable people who heard our grievance and did not let it fall silent. Thank you for shedding rays of hope in this dirty filthy world.
The Girl on Fire