There are a whole bunch of people, past and present, that I wouldn’t work with on-air. What’s my criteria for exclusion? If they are evil and have done bad things to people and/or animals, I wouldn’t even pee on them if they were on fire. Although I might enjoy that with some of them.
My sexual proclivities aside, I am concerned about the recent reluctance of certain Saturday Night Live cast members to work with upcoming host Elon Musk. And I am surprised that NBC is allowing them to refuse to work with him if he “offends their sensibilities.” Offends their sensibilities? He’s a genius, a billionaire and one of the main people responsible for getting America back into outer space. I have read that he is not the nicest person. But like the song says, “Believe half of what you see and none of what you hear.”
That being said, I haven’t heard anything about him hurting people or animals. He has his own views about the pandemic and vaccines, but that is his right as an American. I think he’s wrong about that. But that’s just my Constitutionally guaranteed opinion, too. The SNL’s cast reluctance to work with him and NBC’s approval of that attitude is another example of today’s “snowflake” movement. Don’t want to do something because it frightens or offends you? No problem, we have your safe space right here.
“Safe space? Yeah, I have your safe space,” I said as I pointed to my crotch. Good grief! Are people so out of touch that they refuse to work with people they disagree with or dislike. I think that’s been the definition of Congress for decades. We have raised a generation (or 2) of wimps and cowards.
I witnessed at least 3 examples of this ridiculous coddling during my working career. Some QVC hosts refused to work with certain guests because of their religious beliefs. Yes, they have the freedom of religion, but, to the best of my knowledge, we never had any serial killers or drug kingpins on the show. (Although there might have been one, but that’s a whole ‘nother bottle of whiskey and a story for another time.) I know of some pretty strict religious groups, but none of them ever spoke against Pokémon.
Pokémon? Sadly, yes. I lived about 20 minutes from QVC and was often the host called in when they needed someone to fill in. One day, I received a call saying that the host scheduled to host the first Pokémon show was not willing to do it. Why they waited until 90 minutes before the show is beyond me. Apparently, their pastor told them that Pokémon was a thing of the devil. WTF?
With less than 2 hours until showtime, I jumped in the shower, got dressed and broke Chester County’s land speed record to make it to the studio with about 30 minutes left until the show. Luckily as a sci-fi nerd, I knew all about Pokémon. I loved Pikachu. I even kept his stuffed toy on my shoulder during the show, which ended early as everything sold out. Obviously, a lot of Satanists watch the show.
Management told me that they had to respect the host’s wishes about not hosting the show. When I asked why the host waited so long to state their refusal, the suits just shrugged and said it didn’t matter. Yeah, they weren’t the ones who had to host an anime extravaganza with wet underwear. (It takes me a while to get dry after a shower.)
Religious freedom aside, I was shocked that they allowed the host to refuse to do the show. It’s not like they were having an on-air Satanic mass, we sere selling stuffed animals and trading cards from a kids’ show. Yes, I watched it too, but only because Beelzebub came to me in a dream and said it was okay.
Like NBC with the cast of SNL, QVC was capitulating to a employee’s fears. I can’t imagine anyone being sent to Hell for hosting a Pokémon show. If that were the case, Hades might be a whole lot more fun.
A similar incident occurred with psychic Sylvia Brown. Pretty much the same deal. I received a phone call to come in since the host wouldn’t work with a psychic for religious reasons. This time I had a little over an hour to make it in and get in front of the cameras.
Luckily, I kept a set of on-air clothes in my locker along with single malt Scotch, Cabernet Sauvignon, assorted glassware, guitar strings and picks. I changed and rushed out to the set with about 15 minutes until showtime. I introduced myself to Sylvia, who was a charming woman, despite the horns and pitchfork. We talked about the show and her new book, which we would be presenting. I then took about 5 minutes and speed-read as much of the book as I could. My eidetic memory was put to good use.
The interview went off without a hitch and the book sold out. Sylvia thanked me and even did a reading for me. Everything she predicted came true. Don’t know if I’ll ever believe in psychics, but she was very accurate.
There was another time that my “lack of faith” (I was a Deacon at my little church) came into play. This time, I had a couple of days to prepare for a Power Rangers show since the original host was allowed to bow out for religious reasons. Power Rangers? It’s an awful, but extremely successful children’s show. This time they had a bunch of kids as guests on the show. They were “fighting” each other with their martial arts prowess. To quote Charlton Heston, “It’s a madhouse!” But it was a fun show and grossed almost a million dollars.
When you take a job, you accept that sometimes you will have to do things you don’t like. It’s not a perfect world. If they ask you to murder an infidel on-camera, you absolutely have a reason to refuse on religious grounds. But taking a stand for reasons that you just pulled out of your ass will always be wrong. There are enough qualified people in the workforce that employers can fire employees for not doing their job.
I firmly believe in freedom of religion. But when a religion takes a stand against a stupid children’s TV show or a TV psychic, it’s no longer a religion. It’s a cult. Pass the Kool Aid, please!
© 2021 Steve Bryant – No portion of this or any blog can be reproduced or copied and posted on any online site or read aloud on any audio or video media without the express permission of the author.
It is a troubling trend and appears in many cases we are catering to intolerance.