Tootsie controversy

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TheBroadwayBubble
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Tootsie controversy #1
Posted: 4/8/19 at 9:52am

There was some controversy on social media this weekend over some of Tootsie's merchandise, specifically- that some thought it was offensive to the trans and gay community. Some of the merchandise has been taken down, but one shirt still remains up- the shirt says "Friend of Dorothy," and the other shirts/bags/stickers/pins all said "Being a woman is no job for a man." Thoughts everyone?

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YvanEhtNioj
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Tootsie controversy #2
Posted: 4/8/19 at 10:08am

I saw the twitter post from the girl claiming the shirts were hateful. She's saying that hateful people will purchase the merchandise JUST to perpetuate their own trans-phobia. Personally, I think that's really stupid.

If I saw the "Being a woman" tote bag without seeing the Tootsie logo on the back, I would think "umm..okay?" but I don't think anyone is going to buy the merch just to be hateful. 

I see how it can be seen as problematic, but just about everything nowadays is..

We ain't no cheerleaders.
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getupngo
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Tootsie controversy #3
Posted: 4/8/19 at 10:14am

TheBroadwayBubble said: "There was some controversy on social media this weekend over some of Tootsie's merchandise, specifically- that some thought it was offensive to the trans and gay community. Some of the merchandise has been taken down, but one shirt still remains up- the shirt says "Friend of Dorothy," and the other shirts/bags/stickers/pins all said "Being a woman is no job for a man." Thoughts everyone?"

people need to stop being so butthurt about everything and making everything about them. its not that serious.

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haterobics
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Tootsie controversy #4
Posted: 4/8/19 at 10:14am

TheBroadwayBubble said: "There was some controversy on social media this weekend over..."

Pick any topic and you can start a sentence this way... which usually translates into a handful of people (or one) person actually saying it. That used to be called an opinion, not a controversy.

Brian07663NJ
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Tootsie controversy #5
Posted: 4/8/19 at 10:16am

Context is everything. Everyone wants to be offended by the slightest thing. Get over it. These items were meant in the humor of the show. 

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YvanEhtNioj
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Tootsie controversy #6
Posted: 4/8/19 at 10:17am

Brian07663NJ said: "Context is everything. Everyone wants to be offended by the slightest thing. Get over it. These items were meant in the humor of the show."

Exactly. And from what I've heard, the show has some moments that are pretty progressive

We ain't no cheerleaders.
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Tootsie controversy #7
Posted: 4/8/19 at 10:19am

YvanEhtNioj said: "I saw the twitter post from the girl claiming the shirts were hateful. She's saying that hateful people will purchase the merchandise JUST to perpetuate their own trans-phobia. Personally, I think that's really stupid."

Oh, yes, because clearly transphobic people are all flocking to see a Broadway musical about a man dressing as a woman. 

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Mike Barrett
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Tootsie controversy #8
Posted: 4/8/19 at 10:20am

Nobody can do anything anymore without their being "controversy." Its why Im off twitter and will forever be off twitter. Its just toxic. Theres a ton of hate in this country right now, yes, but we don't need to make everything into an argument is ridiculous. Saying "Well they'll buy these to be hateful!!!" is honestly giving them too much credit and just causing a problem where there isn't one. 

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Rogerdellibovi
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Tootsie controversy #9
Posted: 4/8/19 at 10:28am

Yeah I didn't think it was offensive, especially in context. If they want to be mad about something why not get mad that this show and pretty woman were both written for the stage by a group of only men (and it shows). Or, if they actually care about activism, argue that this show uses "woke" language just to get social justice points. Still wondering who on earth is going to buy a bag that says "Being a woman is no job for a man"..... 

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Tootsie controversy #10
Posted: 4/8/19 at 10:57am
I agree that it’s a weird thing to advertise, but definitely not intentionally hateful and the logic seems like a reach. Trans women are actual women and do saying the shirt is transphobic seems like a weird step backwards. I think the “Friend of Dorothy” shirt is hilarious and not offensive in anyway. It’s kind of a nothing controversy imo.
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Tootsie controversy #11
Posted: 4/8/19 at 10:59am

Not every tempest in a teapot on Twitter is a controversy. 

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
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SomethingPeculiar
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Tootsie controversy #12
Posted: 4/8/19 at 11:00am

It seems like it started out with good intentions: merch about female empowerment. But it has since backfired due to the blindspots of the producing/merch team and the sensitivities of modern culture. Hopefully it can be a learning opportunity for all.

Updated On: 4/8/19 at 11:00 AM
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Tootsie controversy #13
Posted: 4/8/19 at 11:06am

What was on the merchandise that was taken down?

"I hope your Fanny is bigger than my Peter." Mary Martin to Ezio Pinza opening night of Fanny.
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SomethingPeculiar
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Tootsie controversy #14
Posted: 4/8/19 at 11:08am

"Being a woman is no job for a man" -- Tootsie

Esther Blodgett
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Tootsie controversy #15
Posted: 4/8/19 at 11:12am

I think having a tee shirt that reads in large block letters "Friend of Dorothy" is funny. It is also a teaching tool and slightly in your face. I have every intention of buying one and wearing it at my college reunion weekend at the end of May. No one will be surprised.

PS: I am, let's say, 60+.

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Tootsie controversy #16
Posted: 4/8/19 at 11:49am

SomethingPeculiar said: "It seems like it started out with good intentions: merch about female empowerment.But it has since backfired due to the blindspots of the producing/merch team and the sensitivities of modern culture. Hopefully it can be a learning opportunity for all."

Well, there's always one.  They had no "blind spots" and there is NOTHING wrong with anything I've read about here.  It's "modern culture" that's the problem, and what are they supposed to learn exactly - that a handful of Twitter types were offended?  It's a bore.

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Tootsie controversy #17
Posted: 4/8/19 at 12:18pm

SomethingPeculiar said: "It seems like it started out with good intentions: merch about female empowerment.But it has since backfired due to the blindspots of the producing/merch team and the sensitivities of modern culture. Hopefully it can be a learning opportunity for all."

Agreed. I get how the tote bag makes sense within the context of the show.

That being said, transwomen frequently have their gender identity questioned, and we don't live in a world where it's easy to be trans. While I doubt anyone will change their opinion based on a tote bag, spreading this kind of message (even unintentionally) isn't a good look for Tootsie.

("Friend of Dorothy" I actually think is kind of cute - I feel like I'm missing what's problematic, but am willing to be convinced otherwise)

Updated On: 4/8/19 at 12:18 PM
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Tootsie controversy #18
Posted: 4/8/19 at 12:38pm

YvanEhtNioj said: "I saw the twitter post from the girl claiming the shirts were hateful. She's saying that hateful people will purchase the merchandise JUST to perpetuate their own trans-phobia. Personally, I think that's really stupid.

If I saw the "Being a woman" tote bag without seeing the Tootsie logo on the back, I would think "umm..okay?" but I don't think anyone is going to buy the merch just to be hateful.

I see how it can be seen as problematic, but just about everything nowadays is..
"

I feel like reading the "Being a woman" quote is only offensive if you see a transwoman as actually being a man. To me, it's clear the quote is about cis men. I guess that's mildly offensive to drag queens. 

But to the other point, in what world do hateful people purchase Broadway merch to perpetuate their hateful ideas? At those prices? People are perfectly capable of making their own T-shirts and dumb signs to bring to rallies. I don't think we need to worry about them buying merch.

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Tootsie controversy #19
Posted: 4/8/19 at 1:06pm

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Express Yourself!
Updated On: 4/8/19 at 01:06 PM
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Mister Matt
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Tootsie controversy #20
Posted: 4/8/19 at 1:28pm

people need to stop being so butthurt about everything and making everything about them. its not that serious.

People also need to stop using "butthurt" as a form of ridicule.

At any rate, the "woman/man" quote requires context to understand why it works in the show as well as to mark it as potentially trans-phobic, so I don't think it's worth trying to manufacture outrage to the point of boycott or shaming the show.  There are plenty of one-liners in the book to choose from for merchandising.  It's unfortunate that their choice resulted in such negativity.  

These items were meant in the humor of the show.

Well, they were also meant for display in the vast general public.  Not everyone is going to know the context of the quote when they see it (or even be aware of the show itself, should they even happen to notice the word "Tootsie" on the item as it passes by).  To me, this is not really about the person who purchases it, but about every random person who sees it and how they may react.  I do think it's important to analyze the reaction and responses of quoted merchandise you specifically want to represent your product.  Provocative statements and imagery is fine if your show desires to elicit strong political/social opinions and reactions.  I don't think this specific negativity was a desired outcome for the usage of this quote on the merchandise.

"Friend of Dorothy" I actually think is kind of cute - I feel like I'm missing what's problematic, but am willing to be convinced otherwise

I think it's cute as well and will gladly purchase it.  If anyone actually think it may be homophobic, they can't be too familiar with LGBT culture and history.  That would not be the derogatory slur of choice for homophobes.

Yes, pretty much everything can spark outrage for any reason.  This is true of the past and has increased exponentially as rapidly as the evolution of communication technology.  People just don't have to grab a quill o scratch out a response and wait a fortnight or more for the message to be delivered by horse or typeset, mass-printed and distributed for sale.  And it will likely continue along the same trajectory as it always has.  To ignore it and blame the snowflakes is as stupid as standing naked in a blizzard yelling at the climate for changing.  

"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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Tootsie controversy #21
Posted: 4/8/19 at 2:06pm

"Being a woman is no job for a man." Like, I don't even know how it could be considered transphobic. It wouldn't matter if a trans female saw that because they don't consider themselves a man anyway, right? Is this just some tweet-happy teenager overreaching? 



"Hey little girls, look at all the men in shiny shirts and no wives!" - Jackie Hoffman, Xanadu, 19 Feb 2008
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Tootsie controversy #22
Posted: 4/8/19 at 2:13pm
All so ridiculous.

Loved both shirts when I saw them at merch. What upsets me the most is that the production caved and took the merch down.

I totally got what both shirts meant. And the gay community should be embracing the Friend of Dorothy shirt. A term used way back as code for being a part of the gay community. And as far as the trans community is concerned, this show is not about them. But, of course, someone had to make it about them.

People need to grow up and stop just jumping on bandwagons.
Just give the world Love.
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Tootsie controversy #23
Posted: 4/8/19 at 2:43pm

I demand the right to be offended and for it not to matter to anybody else.

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Tootsie controversy #24
Posted: 4/8/19 at 2:48pm

Like, I don't even know how it could be considered transphobic. 

It's about the potential for transphobes to leverage the phrase (e.g. providing ammunition to ignorant bigots).

"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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Tootsie controversy #25
Posted: 4/8/19 at 3:08pm

everythingtaboo said: ""Being a woman is no job for a man." Like, I don't even know how it could be considered transphobic. It wouldn't matter if a trans female saw that because they don't consider themselves a man anyway, right? Is this just some tweet-happy teenager overreaching?"

I assume it's because they claim it implies a biological male could never ever be a woman. Taking what is likely what I assume to be a feminist phrase and taking it out of context to mean something it doesn't.

"It’s the fractured quality in [Bernadette Peters'] singing voice and line readings that puts across the character as someone for whom resentment is sliding into madness." - NYtimes on Follies (2011).