BY PRASAD GIRIBALAN

The Morning Wars are back, and diversity seems to be one of the key themes upon which the second season is woven. While the representation of LGBTQI characters has been significant, it begs to question if their challenges today are given their due.

The story seems to have gently introduced characters as queer in very subtle ways, or probably even left the audience guessing in some cases, which is appreciated, since, hey, it “should” be no big deal, particularly in a setting like UBA in 2020 USA.

However, I wonder if the show downplays the reality of what the rainbow community face today, in comparison with someone discriminated on the basis of, say, their race or colour.

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An example being that of Daniel, a black gay male, mentions only his colour as a problem in his attempts to further his career. The official management response is that he lacks the ‘it’ factor, but is the fact that this comment came from a young, Asian female supposed to justify it? And of course, how does Daniel show he’s got more to give? By launching into an impromptu song and dance routine on live TV. No clichés there!

When Laura Peterson (Julianna Margulies), much acclaimed and respected today, is introduced as the one responsible for putting the L in LGBTQI, it clearly sets the stage for her struggles to be spoken of further down the storyline, which it surely does in ample measure – although all set in the past.

In sharp contrast, Bradley Jackson (Reese Witherspoon) fears her romance with Laura being exposed, purely on the lines of the brevity of her relationships, with no worries about being a gay woman. Is that because she still hasn’t fully come to terms with her sexuality, or naively assuming that it won’t affect her future successes?

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It is also in this context that a colleague hints at Daniel’s sexuality being a choice, to which his response about the pain of being publicly outed, however true that may be, is, well, anything but.

Aside from individual characters’ sexualities, Morning Wars also touches upon diversity as a running theme in most organisations today. Particularly when Cory, the CEO, makes reference to having two white straight females hosting the election debate. This brings to bear the question if inclusiveness is just a token, just a box to tick, or is more required? But then, that could be asked of TMS too…

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