The current hot-button topic of sexual harassment in the workplace took a turn during the November 4 episode of CW’s Rel. One woman tells her friend, “Now it’s our turn” to get revenge for the years of harassment she and other women experienced harassment.
In the episode titled "Windy City Politics," Nat (Jordan L. Jones), the ex-con younger brother of series lead Rel (Lil Rel Howery), is hired as an executive assistant to his alderman, thanks to the efforts of Rel’s best friend, Brittany (Jessica Moore). Brittany is also friends with the alderman’s chief of staff, Tia (Terri J. Vaughn), who begins to sexually harass Nat from the time he starts working in the office. After consulting with his father (Sinbad) and Rel, Nat decides to talk to Tia and ask her to stop.
When confronted by Nat, Tia tells him no, she will not stop. At that point, Nat calls her bluff and opens up his shirt while telling her that they should just go ahead and have sex. At that point, the alderman comes in and ends up firing Nat. Tia denies Nat’s accusations of sexual harassment to the alderman.
When Brittany learns that Nat was fired and why she goes down to confront Tia. Tia explains to Brittany that she enjoys harassing men as a power play to get revenge for mistreatment throughout her career. Naturally, Brittany is shocked to hear her friend’s explanation.
Brittany: We need to talk and you need to be honest.
Tia: Is this about me grabbing Nat?
Brittany: You damn right it is.
Tia: Listen, Brittany. I like letting men know I'm more powerful than they are. Guys have done a lot worse to both of us and gotten away with it. Now it's our turn.
Brittany: Our turn?
Brittany: Bitch, we ain't jumping rope. We're trying to get it to where everybody is respected. And if you're doing this to people, that'll make you no better than the men you're trying to get back at, Tia.
Tia: You know what, Brittany, don't come in my office judging me on how...
Alderman: Hey! Hey! Hey! Look here, now. I'm trying to record my podcast. Want me to lose all 44 of my listeners? Young Brittany, you're in my office, you're loud. Can I help you with something?
Brittany: I'll tell you what you can help me with. You need to give my friend back his job. And tell Michelle Grope-bama to back off of him. My friend Nat has been working hard to get his life back on track. And he deserves a fair shot. And if you don't give him one, I'm gonna have a camera crew down here, and I'm gonna give them an interview that tells them how Alderman Littles has no morals and no principles, and how he turned a blind eye to the He Too movement.
Alderman: W-w-wait. He, too? Is that a movement? Is He Too a thing?
Brittany: It's a thing now.
And with that, the #HeToo movement is born.
The alderman, ever conscious of the next election, does a press conference on “non-gender biased” sexual harassment and goes off the deep end. He explains that harassment can be perpetrated by both men and women and he does not see gender.
Alderman: As a community, we need to recognize the importance of non-gender-biased sexual harassment at the workplace. Be it man on man, woman on woman, woman on man, man on man, it doesn't matter. We got to support the lgbtqrstlmnop, sometimes "Y" community. Alderman Littles does not see gender. You right there, I don't know if you're my brother or my sister, but does that matter? No. Millie Bobby Brown and regular Bobby Brown exist in the same world. And that is the community we want to live in.
Oh brother. It’s another chance for Hollywood to get in the gender-doesn’t-matter narrative in regards to relationships. In this case, the politician is portrayed as someone so worried about not being PC on a subject as dicey as sexual harassment, he’s willing to take his office’s correction to an extreme level. He fired Nat rather than deal with a scandal and then he tells the press that he doesn’t care about gender at all, including working in the all-important “lgbtqrstlmnop and sometimes “Y” community.” At least that part was funny.
The lesson from this episode is that it is not justifiable for women to act no better---- than men who act inappropriately in the workplace. Bad behavior is bad behavior.