Thanks to TiVo, I’m several days late on this one, but last week’s 30 Rock continued in the tradition of television shows such as Scrubs, Friends, and the Nine as well as movies such as Waitress, Knocked Up, and Juno in avoiding abortion in a situation that screams out for its inclusion. On 30 Rock last week, Tina Fey’s character, a single woman who produces a sketch comedy television show, takes several pregnancy tests that show she’s pregnant. After consulting her calendar, she realizes that the only person who could be the father is her complete loser of an ex-boyfriend that she slept with once over the past month or so.
[SPOILER ALERT for those who care!] It turns out at the end of the show that the pregnancy tests were wrong, but throughout the show, when talking about what to do now that she’s pregnant, Tina Fey’s character never once mentions abortion. Of course, I have no agenda that her character actually have an abortion, but it seems completely unrealistic that she wouldn’t even mention it as a possibility with her friends (or vice versa: that her friends wouldn’t mention it to her).
Again, what we’re seeing is that Hollywood, in mainstream television and movies, doesn’t want to touch abortion. A medical procedure that over a million women have every year and is one of the most common medical procedures in the country gets completely ignored in situations that it would normally be raised. I don’t require my television and movies to be ultra-realistic, but consistently ignoring this topic is too much politically-influenced fantasy for me.
- David S. Cohen