High Schoolers Pretend To Be Lesbians For Popularity Boost In MTV’s New “Comedy”

enhanced-13722-1394831494-12As the network that brought you shows like Teen Mom and Jersey Shore, MTV has never been hailed as one of the finer networks for original programming.

But perhaps the cable giant has hit a new low with Faking It, a brand new original series that follows two straight high-school girls who pretend to be lesbians to boost their social status.

The “scripted comedy,” which is set to debut April 22, follows best friends Amy and Karma, who experience a huge dose of popularity after “coming out” as being in a relationship together. According to the first official trailer, the girls are misidentified as lesbians by a close gay friend, outed as such, and just decide to go along with it because they’re more popular as lesbians.

Nearly anyone with a modicum of sanity would find the plot offensive, but for some reason, BuzzFeed does not. In an exclusive interview this week, Faking It showrunner Carter Covington said initially “As a gay man, I told the network I was offended by that idea,” but later changed his mind.

According to Covington, exploiting sexuality for entertainment is alright because he once worked for The Trevor Project:

I had a caller one night who said, ‘I’m worried that my friends are only my friends because I’m gay.’ I was shocked. That idea seemed so foreign to me given the world I grew up in, but this kid explained that he went to a very tolerant high school where being gay was like a badge of honor. That’s when I realized there are schools out there where being gay is no longer a problem, and tolerance is viewed as an asset. It made me think Faking It could work if we set it a high school like that and had one of the girls actually have a crush on her best friend.

Still not sure how the addition of a love triangle makes this a good thing — maybe we’re missing something. Is it or is it not offensive to completely mock and trivialize the coming out process?

Sure, “times have changed,” according to Gregg Sulkin, the actor playing “Liam,” the third member of this complicated love triangle. But teens are still being bullied and harassed at school after coming out, and MTV is going to air some crap like this to get a big LOL and some viral gifs of women kissing?

Not cute.

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  • Lothar

    I’m sure this phenomenon happens in real life. I’ve heard of the term “BUG” (bisexual until graduation”. Many women pretend to be lesbian because they want extra credit in their women’s studies class or because they are writing their thesis on “living as a lesbian for one month”. Movies like “GBF” encourage this kind of storyline. Perpetuating the idea that being gay is cool or makes you more popular in school is just as exploitative as being bullied for being gay. The self-appointed gay community leadership (and Margaret Cho and Kathy griffin) brought this upon our community.

  • Razmos

    @Lothar: To be fair, a large part of the story of G.B.F was how treating gay people like accessories isn’t right. And the film was a comedy after all, and in that situation it was funny and done in a sweet, lighthearted way.

    This kind of show however, is just not cool, and doesn’t reflect some peoples actual experiences of coming out.
    There are too many fake lesbians in tv shows these days, or in real life. Watch any horror film these days and you’ll see an obligatory lesbian make out scene between straight girls, and all it does is perpetuate the misconception that girls are only lesbians for “fun”

  • Daveliam

    It makes me kind of sad that this articles starts with the idea that MTV “has never been hailed as one of the finer networks for original programming”, but it used to be actually. 20 to 30 years ago, this network was definitely creating great original programming. It’s only after they completely got rid of music programming that they went to shit.

  • GeriHew

    Doesn’t look offensive to me, just a bit silly. So maybe I am more than moderately sane?

    Whatever, life is often silly. Very silly.

    And the “truth” is often stranger than “fiction” anyway.

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