Undercover Boss stooped to depressing new lows on Sunday, airing an episode that featured a CEO offering a woman breast implants as a workplace incentive and firing another for refusing to wear a bikini top on camera.
Sunday's episode of the popular long-running show featured Doug Guller, the founder and CEO of Bikinis Sports Bar & Grill. Guller "openly welcomes controversy and proudly refers to his chain of restaurants as 'breastaurants'," according to CBS's own description." Although "breastaurants" are bullshit creations of morons who are desperate to carve out a niche for themselves in an increasingly shrinking restaurant market, people like Guller view the word as a term of endearment. So now you know exactly who/what you're dealing with as we move forward.
During the episode, Guller fired a woman who wore a t-shirt instead of a bikini top while the cameras were at the bar. To be clear, Jessica (the employee in question) didn't refuse to wear the bikini that all female employees asked to wear while working; she just said she didn't feel comfortable wearing a bikini top on camera. That was a "big bummer" for Guller, who promised to help "get [her] resume out there." I'm not sure which is slimier—the boss who fires you for refusing to be filmed in a bikini or the one who promises to help find you work after he does.
Then there was also this moment:
Yes, that's right. The CEO of a company offered one of his employees free huge boob implants if she promises to work harder. (We're shattering the fuck out of the glass ceiling in 2014, aren't we?) This happened on national television, on a show that was billed as heartwarming. This also sort of counts as their holiday episode, in case you're keeping track of the reasons to feel skeeved out and depressed by this.
Lots of people were pretty disgusted by what went down on the show on Sunday night.
Even worse was how absolutely thrilled CBS was with themselves for sharing the heartwarming story of a woman getting breast implants as a reward from her boss.
"Try not to cry." OK!
In their defense—and this probably the only thing I will say in their defense—the moment the Twitter account for Undercover Boss was probably specifically referring to was this one, which featured a kitchen manager getting a raise and a $10,000 vacation from Guller. (Or maybe it wasn't and the Twitter admin working for CBS actually thought we'd all be totally overwhelmed with our emotions at the sight of a boss offering fake boobs to a good worker. Who knows.)
But the general point remains: This was a bad episode unleashing a bunch of unchecked bullshit on a viewing audience that (judging by fans' reactions on Twitter) didn't want it. If there's a silver lining, it's that this level of blatant sexism no longer seems widely appreciated.
Desperate is probably the best way to describe it. The real question isn't how much outrage should be directed at Guller for being a sexist ass: He's always been totally tone deaf about the sexism he enthusiastically promotes and frankly seems to enjoy having offending people with his business practices. Being the subject of a Twitter firestorm of feminist rage is probably right at the top of his list to Santa this year. So, fine. Add him to the already too long list of men in powerful positions in business who are exactly like this.
The real question is: Why the hell would CBS put someone like this on their show? Why would they stoop to this? For ratings? Because they also only see women as objects? Because an alien from the planet Boobjokia took over their network for the night? I have no idea. But no matter the reason, their attempt to pass this off as entertainment didn't work.