Thursday, 14 May 2009

Target the Gay: putting the PC in The ApPrentiCe

At the risk of sounding like a Daily Mail columnist, last night's episode of The Apprentice was proof that political correctness has GONE MAD.

Mona was fired when her team failed to rebrand run-down seaside town Margate as a gay-friendly holiday destination. Ostensively for "not supporting her project manager" but really because the TV powers-that-be were worried that the audience might (incorrectly) think she, and by extension the show, is homophobic. And all because she didn't think her team should, as they put it, "target the gay".

No one would disagree with James that the reason Deborah's evil Empire lost is that their posters were "cod-shit" and the leaflet a "botch job". Responsibility for the marketing materials lay squarely with Deborah and Howard. And overall responsibility for the task lay with the project manager, Deborah.  Who also happens to be a toxic, lying, flat-faced alien creature bully bitch-whore. 

But Mona committed the cardinal sin - not being "full square" behind the concept... which just happened to be pro-gay. This led Suralan to wonder "where you would fit into my organisation" and he aimed his fat firing finger at her, thereby pointing out that Amstrad don't produce no queer-bashin' technologies, sunshine. 

Now, as a resident of Kent, Mona may be an expert on the region, or she may be part of the provincial problem. But whether she was right or not is irrelevant - she was correct not to follow her team's flawed logic. 

Presumably one of them had read the phrase "pink pound" in a Sunday supplement. They assumed that gay people are most likely to spend more money and go on more holidays ("these guys DO IT more than anyone else"), and are therefore likely to do so right here in England. They clearly had a vision of, next bank holiday, the convoy of disco buses shuttling the nation's gays to Brighton stopping at a rainbow-coloured "Homos Welcome" sign pointing towards Margate and shrieking "LETS GO LADIES!"

Although it got lost among all the bluster, Mona's central point was that the gay scene is "not a big thing in Kent". NOT that there are no gay people in the county, or that they're not welcome there - just that, well, Margate isn't exactly Brighton. It's not incredibly open-minded but, as the most bigoted thing the producers could dig out, it's a far cry from "come to my home and I'll burn you at the stake you dirty bummers". 

Much has been made of what will probably come to be known as Trannygate. The writing was on the wall when yesterday's red-tops were reporting that Mona had offended a transexual by calling him/her a lesbian. But all she did was ask "can I enquire about your sexuality?", and if I'm not mistaken... flirt a little? Don't get me wrong - I'm not really a fan of Moaner, I mean Mona. She is more dull than dynamic, and doesn't make for great TV. But I hate to see anyone sewn up like this.

And the greatest injustice? She may have been right all along. As the town's marketeer put it, "what we've got to do in Margate is to attract the mass, general public back to the area". But that doesn't matter now does it? Public opinion is, she's a petty-minded homophobe who would do anything to avoid promoting gay values. In the words of a great man, you couldn't make it up.

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