Trouble in TV Land (part one)

So we’ve been having a big what Joyce would call a ‘kerfuffle’ on the show lately. Y’all may have heard about it already, but Maya wants everyone who’s got a blog to write our sides of the story. Maya was in some pretty hot water for a couple days, but Maya Bedrossian wouldn’t have gotten where she is if you could cancel her over something so incredibly stupid as what happened to us.

Although Maya, Robert and Jean-François are the producers of the show (Robert is the one who gets an Executive Producer credit, but he doesn’t do anything more important than Maya or Jean-François), the show still airs on a network, and the network is where the money comes from. So every once in a while the network issues orders and Maya and the rest of the production team have to obey. It’s no different than any other job, and the truth of the matter is that the network lets Maya do mostly as she likes with the show (Robert: “at least as long as ratings are good.”) Still, they intervene every now and again…and usually it just makes everyone’s lives more difficult. There was the time when they decided I didn’t look tan enough (I’m pretty fair-skinned and I burn more easily than I tan) and they insisted I had to wear body makeup when I was shirtless. We all thought it was absurd, especially given that I’m either sweating or in and out of the pool…neither of which mixes well with body makeup. But we had to try it…and I looked ridiculous. Maya said I looked like “Malibu Ken” – that’s Ken as in Barbie; I’m not sure what the Malibu thing means…but, no, I don’t like being compared to Barbie’s boyfriend lol. As if that weren’t bad enough, y’all can’t imagine the mess it made. I ruined some pretty expensive Turkish towels after trying to dry off during a workout sequence…and that was the end of that. (Now they “fix it in editing”: I’m not as tan in real life as I appear on the show, although maybe they’ll be able to stop ‘fixing’ it once summer’s here: I usually have a nice tan going by the time July is here.)

So an edict came down from the network a couple weeks ago, and I bet y’all can guess what it was about. Yep: diversity. If you ask me, we’re a diverse enough bunch on the show, both in front of, and, especially, behind he cameras. Sure, me, Sandy, Jean-François, Ethan and Robert are all white, but Maya’s Armenian (so the boys are half-Armenian), and the rest of the crew is pretty diverse: Maya’s makeup woman is latina, and the sound man who’s so good at keeping his boom mike (like I found out it’s called) out of the shot is latino, and both our camerapeople are Asian (one’s a woman, too.) African-Americans are represented too: we’ve got an awesome dude on the crew who can take care of anything you ask him to do (and I mean anything), while, behind the scenes, there’s Destiny taking care of all the social media. It’s not a big crew, but I’d of thought we had our bases covered. We’ve even got our fair share of lesbian and gay people.

Turns out we’re not diverse enough when it comes to other parts of the LGBTQ equation. Turns out everyone working on At Home with Maya is ‘cisgender’. I went to look the work up in a dictionary (like Mom told us to do with words we didn’t know) and couldn’t find it. Finally I looked it up online…and it turns out that all it means is that we’re the gender we’re supposed to be. (Keaton: “bubba, you’re the last person on the planet to learn that.”) In other words – or so I thought – it’s the opposite of being transgender.

I reckon the easiest solution would have been to hire a trans person for some job or other. We actually had an opening for what used to be called ‘script girl’, a term we still use as a joke (our last couple ‘script girls’ have been dudes.) Although we don’t have a script (really…I mean it lol), someone has to keep track of what’s been filmed so that the editor knows what he’s getting to work with. For a while the job’s been given to an intern, and it just so happened that the intern who most recently had the job got a real job elsewhere the day before the Maya got the email telling her to hire someone who wasn’t cisgender.

Now I just said that cisgender and transgender are opposites and, therefore, you must be one or the other. Turns out not. (Keaton: “that’s fuckin bullshit, man.”) There’s like a whole other world of I don’t know how many genders out there…and the word for them is xenogender (that’s xeno- like in xenophobia.) Y’all have probably heard of non-binary people…and, well, some of them have started making up all kinds of words for what ‘gender’ they are.

The second person who turned up to interview for the script girl position had two-tone purple and blonde hair, a nose ring, and, well, y’all get the picture. That wasn’t gonna get her hired (Maya has a thing about people with weird hair colors…she calls it “crayons” lol), but then she told Maya that she was xenogender.

Okay…so she’s not a dude, she’s not a chick. She’s not even trans male or trans female.

Get ready for this: she said her gender is dinosaur.

Yeah, y’all read that right: her gender is dinosaur.

I have no idea what dinosaur gender means, and I never got close enough to Brontë (yeah, that’s her name now that she’s dinosaur gender) to find out. The only thing that I did get was that being dinosaur gender doesn’t mean you think you’re a dinosaur.

As for the rest, the only other thing I ever came close to understanding was that this dinosaur gender thing (which isn’t even on Wikipedia) comes with its own pronouns. And dinosaur gender people like Brontë use dino/dina/dinas/dinoself as their pronouns.

And expect everyone else to use them, too. Never mind that it wasn’t until my second year of high school German that I got all the pronoun cases straight.

Needless to say, that created a whole mess of problems from the git go, not the least of which is that no one thinks to refer to someone as ‘dino’. Especially when ‘dino’ looks like a chick and the natural response is to call her…I mean dina (I can hear my German teacher yelling ‘akkusativ!’ at me, Gardner and Turner lol)…a she.

I reckon y’all have already figured out that Maya hired Brontë to be our new ‘script girl’.

Oh…sorry…script dinosaur.

Yeah. I’m not kidding. That’s what she wanted us to call her. And how she wanted to be listed in the credits.

Why Maya didn’t see that this was gonna be a problem is beyond everyone. Even Maya admits now that she should have known better, but Brontë was actually qualified and, yeah, she checked exactly the box that the network wanted checked

by the new hire.

Only…well, y’all probably already guessed this didn’t end well.

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