UPN - Nowhere Man

You Really Got A Hold On Me

My highschool girlfriend took the same bus, along with a dozen other students, five days a week, throughout the school year. One day, at the tail end of a snowstorm, the bus was late to pick them up. The student passengers got to school a half hour late. They were immediately called on the carpet by the principal and marched to the auditorium where they were asked to write down their explanations of why they failed to be prompt. Twelve simply wrote: "The bus was late." One, my girlfriend Ellen, wrote - "I overslept, it was my fault, I'm sorry it won't happen again." After thumbing through all thirteen responses, the principal looked up and announced, "It's nice to see that at least one person in this room is willing to tell the truth."

The outcome of the O.J. trial has stirred up a lot of emotion. Cochran's appeal to acquit O.J. and "make a statement" about the racial issues in this country have inflamed a large number of Americans. People have expressed outrage that a man should be acquitted based on anything other than the facts. The newspapers, television shows and radio talk shows are full of people who express outrage at this kind of "group think." Guilt is guilt, they feel, and that's simply that.

To protest this simple thought, women's groups in L.A. organized to protest. O.J. shouldn't represent African Americans in this affair but, instead, Nicole should represent battered women everywhere. Some of these women's groups have supported women who kill their husbands because their husbands have battered them.

A Los Angeles talk radio show host invited callers to comment on story about a man who, after discovering that his teenage daughter had been molested by some neighbors, loaded his gun and shot both people in the back. For an hour, the comments included -- "give 'em a medal." "They're heroes." "Atta boy." "It's about time."

Lyle and Eric Menendez have confessed to the murder of their parents. But they have an explanation. They're "abused children." Their defense was not "insanity" due to the crimes inflicted upon them, but "self defense" in that "they just couldn't deal with it any longer." Find that the brothers were members of the family of "abused minorities" a jury was unable to convict them.

When casting a "gang episode" of Nowhere Man, it was decided that casting black actors, in what might be considered an unfavorable light, might be politcally incorrect. Therefore, to forestall any protests from the black community, two leading roles on a national television series were given to white actors.

During the 80's, I worked at a production company that was coming under fire from women's special interest groups within the entertainment community. A "study" on the company's hiring practices came out favorably when it was found that there were, indeed, a fair number of women working in significant positions. All but one of those women were working on shows that I had staffed. I had women working as Story Editors, Associate Producers, Producers and Directors. A few months later, a petition was sent to the company from the Director's Guild of America. It was requested that all Executive Producers read and sign the paper. The paper, in short, was a statement that we (the exec producers) would make an effort to hire female directors. I refused to sign, stating that I was the only one in the company to have hired female directors and that I would continue to hire anyone that I felt was qualified for the job. Upper management accused me of being "sexist."

I have to shake my head sometimes when I read the posts in various Nowhere Man sections where people wonder "just who Tom is up against." "Who are THEM?"

Look to your left. Look to your right. Look in the mirror. As Tom, alone now in the world, could tell you - We are, at the end of the day, all in this together.

Until next time -


vidiot at vidiot dot com
Last modified on November 4, 1995