Members of the LGBT community were immediately offended by the trailer for The CW's newest reality show, High Society. The show follows Tinsley Mortimer, a wealthy New York socialite and her motley crew of similarly wealthy friends
through their decadent night life, high fashion shopping adventures and dramatic arguments. Although it will not premiere until March 10, in the 30-second preview titled "Real Look," a woman tells Tinsley that she looks "like a tranny," and later, her friend Jules says, "I use the N-word sometimes." GLAAD received emails from concerned members of the community who saw the trailer on YouTube.
While this preview may not be indicative of a majority of the reality show's future content, this kind of defamatory language works only to disrespect members of the transgender community and should not have been showcased at all.
The show features openly gay event producer Malik So Chic, as well as Paul Johnson-Calderon, an openly gay writer for Paper Magazine. However, the inclusion of LGBT people on the show does not justify the use of defamatory language, particularly when it appears the defamatory comment was used to gain publicity.
Certainly The CW can't control the vocabulary of this group of socialites, but it can control its editorial choices. There are several reality shows that have realistically portrayed a demographic while not degrading members of the LGBT community.
GLAAD has reached out to the The CW and directly to the producers of the show to urge that this trailer be changed and ask that the show's content not be used to defame the LGBT community. Please check back for updates.