Let’s nip this misconception in the bud: Being Erica, which I decided I would loathe before even seeing it yet of which I became an ardent defender, was not on the air on CBC for “too long.” John Doyle and Bill Brioux both make this claim. Curiously, they do so in the same breath as maintaining that Little Mosque on the Prairie also had too long a run.
When you see the same point stated in two different places, you know there’s an effort, overt or subconscious, to form a consensus among right-thinking people. (Or just to lie to you.)
Being Erica lasted exactly as long as it should have. Any reasonable viewer knew what would transpire: Dr. Tom would quit and Erica would, in effect, take his place. I doubt you wanted Jana Sinyor and Aaron Martin to rush a story that documented two characters’ gradual personal evolutions. (Had they rushed it, Doyle and Brioux would be first to complain.) At least Sinyor and Martin had the audacity to create a TV show about a character who could actually be real (a Jewess in Toronto publishing) as opposed to, say, a “fisher” from “the regions” or a colony of lovable Islamic mascots lodged deep up the prairies’ backside.
Little Mosque should not have survived its first year. This Muslim appeasement exercise was intolerable from the start but became an outright scandal when its star, Zaib Shaikh, started fucking the boss, CBC programming executive Kirstine Stewart. We are admonished not to treat Stewart in a sexist manner now that she has decamped – bafflingly, you must admit – for Twitter. So I will apply the same standard to her as I would to a female fucking her male boss or a male fucking his female underling. It was sleazy, unethical, and wrong unless and until one of them quit. Being Erica’s creators did not fuck the boss, chiefly because Jana Sinyor is not a lesbian, esteemed colleague Aaron Martin is a gay bear, and both have high moral standards.
The Toronto chattering class already has its talking points lined up – Being Erica was on too long; Stewart’s status as a woman can be discussed only in correct ways. Yet heterosexualist male critics Doyle and Brioux never bothered to cover her Sharia-compliant wedding. Think of the assault to Kirstine Layfield Stewart Shaikh’s integrity she suffered when she covered up her arms at her own wedding to prevent Muslim males from sexually fetishizing her. Yet we’re told to uphold liberal pieties about how difficult it was for her to work as a woman in a man’s business. That’s a trifling deflection from real issues, not to mention hypocrisy in action.
I have taken great pleasure in demolishing right-wing assholes’ endless bitching about the CBC. But here it is liberal TV critics – both male – who are acting sexist, not their imagined opponents.