By: Lacey Worsham
After reading the chapter on “Disability and Sitcoms” and watching the pilot of Legit, I have becomes increasingly frustrated with television’s idea that in order to expose or do justice to one group of people, they must portray another group unjustly. I agree with James Schultz that “Legit deserves recognition for breaking ground in representing disability”. The fact that an entire group of people have been majorly underrepresented or not represented at all on television is highly disconcerting, and in some ways, Legit does an amazing job of breaking down and rewriting these boundaries. That is as far, however, as I can extend my praise of the show.
Not only did the producers create an episode that revolved entirely around a male’s desire for sexuality, but also did this at the expense of women as a whole. And this is what they chose for the pilot episode! I truly do not understand why in order to give disability a place in television, women must in turn be objectified. As a result, the show can really only achieve so much because they are sending mixed messages to their viewers. As Schultz accurately says, “the depiction of characters with disabilities is presented in sharp contrast to the fact that the series does not develop any character that is not overtly heterosexual and that does not objectify women”. This is doing a major disservice to not only the portrayal of women, but also those of men. The men in this sitcom are over dramatized in their search to use women as sex objects, and as a show that is meant to be progressive in one way, it falls extremely short by sending retrogressive messages in every other way. Legit is not even able to break the boundaries of representing a disabled woman, because although it “deals with Billy’s disabled girlfriend in another episode, it does not live up to its potential as a progressive narrator on multiple fronts”. As a result of this analysis, it appears to be a very good thing that this show was canceled, and hopefully other sitcoms in the future will be able to represent disability in a way that does not misrepresent or abuse other groups of people.