Let MTV's "Faking It" Continue
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This petition has been started to save MTV’s comedy TV show Faking It, which has recently aired its third season. A few days before its last episode aired, the fans have been shocked by the news that the show would not be renewed after this season. For several reasons, there are a lot of fans that do not want this to happen.
Faking It is a show about two best friends in high school, Karma and Amy, whose friendship gets shaken up when they are mistakenly outed as lesbians. Because the school they attend is exceptionally open-minded, this causes a dramatic rise in their social status. Despite moral qualms, they decide to go along with it and to ‘fake’ their relationship. Things get more complicated, however, when Amy kisses Karma in front of the whole school and realizes that she might not be as straight as she thought she was. Karma, in the mean time, is trying to use her newly acquired popularity to gain the attention of the school’s most popular boy, Liam Booker.
This is the start of a rollercoaster of events and emotions that have touched the hearts of many, because Faking It provides visibility for groups in society that so rarely receive positive (if any) representation on television, including Muslims, disabled people, people with dwarfism... Secondly, Faking It has done groundbreaking work in terms of representation of the LGBTQ community, including an intersex character, a transgender character, lesbian and gay characters, bisexual women and men, and questioning characters that refuse to pick a label.
In short, Faking It makes a statement of positivity, openness, and acceptance towards others, which is so rare in today’s society. “Hester High” is depicted as a school that welcomes—and even applauds—differences. It shows that diversity is not something to be afraid of, but can be incredibly enriching for a society that chooses to accept it. Moreover, because of the relatable characters, the humorous storytelling, and the masterful acting, the show is highly accessible to a wide audience, and tells its message in a way that is unobtrusive to viewers who have had little contact with the minorities represented in Faking It.
The show, we heard, has been cancelled due to low ratings, and that it was mostly “a numbers decision.” In response, we would like to offer some other numbers: 1,115 in a total of 5,462 hate-crime incidents were motivated by bias against sexual orientation or gender identity in 2014. Another survey estimates that among the 1.6 million youths that experience homelessness each year, around 40% of them belong to the LGBTQ community. Finally, research has proven that in the age bracket from 10 to 24, LGBQ youths are four times more likely to commit suicide than their straight peers, and transgender youths are ten times more likely to do so.
Since the start of television, LGBTQ characters have been repeatedly bullied, trapped in unhappy relationships, and met (often violent) deaths. In killing off these characters, TV makers have repeatedly sent out the message that LGBTQ people cannot live happy, normal lives. In contrast, Faking It has shown several examples of happy LGBTQ relationships and brought a message of hope and acceptance into the homes of those who need to hear it most: LGBTQ youths and their families. The show offers viewers the chance to experience both the possibility and the beauty of a happy same-sex relationship—viewers who may, as a result of that, be less likely to succumb to either self-harm or hate crimes towards others. The loss of such a show to the LGBTQ community is, as such, not a small one.
We believe that the show deserves better. It has allowed us to meet an incredibly talented cast, and a talented group of writers, all of whom would have liked to continue to tell this story. The Faking It fandom is extremely dedicated, and—amongst other things—very active on social media. With the backing of a solid promotional campaign, a fourth season of Faking It is bound to not only draw in an LGBTQ viewership, but to also appeal to a much wider audience. We believe that any network with an interest in continuing its story would not regret picking up the show for more seasons.
In the name of all the fans, we thank you for your consideration.
Abhishek Rana (India)
Ana Pérez (Spain)
Bri Scott (Australia)
Chiara Waxmuth (Germany)
Evelyn Rodriguez (USA)
Helena Gezels (Belgium)
Jessie Baxley (USA)
Larisa Kuletic (Slovenia)
Manu Magalhães (Portugal)
Margaux Carvalho (France)
Patricia Coates (UK)
Sheena Melican (Philippines)
Suellen Silva (Brazil)
 Source: FBI 2014 hate crime statistics database (via http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/hate-crimes-against-lgbt-people-are-sadly-common/)
 Source: True Colors Fund (via https://truecolorsfund.org/our-issue/)
 Source: The Trevor Project (via http://www.thetrevorproject.org/pages/facts-about-suicide)
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