Homosexuality In Nbc's The Office

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Homosexuality and sexuality in general has always been a large issue in America. Today these issues are addressed through all mediums, including television. TV serves as a type of mirror for society and display’s society’s values and desires. It is only logical then that television shows also address homosexuality. In its 3rd season premiere, a popular American TV show, The Office, critically addressed this particular issue. The episode revolves around Michael Scott, the manager of Dunder Mifflin Paper Company, accepting that one of his employees, Oscar, is gay. The episode portrays a very conventional outlook on homosexuality but its conventionality serves as a satire for conservativeness. Titled, “The Gay Witch Hunt” this episode at first glance is extremely conservative on its stance on homosexuality issues but its extreme conservativeness serves as a disguise for its progressiveness. Homosexuality has not always been discussed on television. It was once considered a taboo topic but once the AIDS epidemic hit in the early 1980’s homosexuality was everywhere. HIV/AIDS was dubbed the “gay disease” and lead to much gay hate on both television and in public (Gross 145). Gay men and women on TV were portrayed as hypersexual beings that deserved to contract this terrible illness. It wasn’t until the late 90’s with shows such a Will and Grace and Friends that TV’s portrayal of homosexuality changed from negative to positive. Gay men at that time were shown to be extremely flamboyant, wore pink excessively, and had high pitched voices. Gay women were shown as extremely masculine females who had no interest in the feminine world. This type of stereotyping lead to the symbolic annihilation of all homosexuals in the media. Symbolic annihilation is the act of either misrepresenting or underrepresenting a certain group of people. During the late 90’s to present day, gays in

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