The Mick: Teacher-Child Sexual Harassment Is Funny!

Written by PTC | Published December 31, 1969

The Mick 4 A teenage girl is molested by her teacher – and Fox is playing it for laughs. Even as Hollywood’s epidemic of sexual harassment continues to grow, Fox is doubling down on portraying such harassment – and even child molestation and statutory rape – as an amusing situation to be laughed at. The Tuesday, November 28th episode of Fox’s The Mick (9:00 p.m. ET/8 Central/Mountain) is so filled with depravity in its mockery of the very real, and very serious, instances of sexual harassment and child molestation dominating Hollywood that it is difficult to know where to begin in describing the episode. Teenager Sabrina comes home from school and announces that she plans to have sex with her English teacher, Brian. (Sabrina is convinced that Brian “wants her,” because he has helped her with her poetry lesson.) Aunt Mickey tries to convince Sabrina that sleeping with a teacher is a mistake, then relates her own experience in having sex with faculty when she was in high school: Mickey: “All that matters is that it was very traumatic. Once he got what he wanted from me he just blew me off and when I tried to confront him about it he just acted like nothing ever happened. You know, like I was just this crazy psycho that dreamt the whole thing up and nobody believed me.” Note that even when a character accurately describes how traumatic being sexually molested is, the show plays the situation for laughs. (This recurs later in the episode.) Since she’s gotten nowhere with Sabrina, Mickey decides on another course of action: she has sex with the teacher herself, to “poison the well” so that Sabrina then won’t want to have sex with him. This plan goes astray as well; since Mickey seduced the teacher at his other job, away from school property, and without telling him that she is a parent of one of his students, the principal is inclined to overlook the incident, since nothing about it affects the students or the school. However, during the school’s talent show, while Sabrina is reading her poem, Mickey chooses to burst onto the stage and play a recording of Brian confessing that he slept with her – thus humiliating both the teacher and her own niece in front of the whole school. Even here, The Mick can’t resist mocking the courage real-life victims of sexual abuse and harassment show in coming forward. After her sham of seducing the teacher herself, Mickey invites other victims of sexual molestation to speak up, even using the same language of solidarity such victims have invoked in real life: “If there are any other victims, please come forward and hold hands. We are stronger together!” INSERT CLIP #5 (And, while it has nothing to do with teacher-child sex molestation, the episode also included a storyline in which kindergarten-age little Ben is taught to go around punching other children and giving them a black eye.) Given both the maelstrom of sexual harassment allegations swamping Hollywood, and the news cycle of teachers and their statutory rape of students, it is clear that sexual abuse is a real and widespread problem. Yet a child-targeted family comedy, airing in prime time and rated as appropriate for children, asks us to laugh at it. This is how Fox is using the publicly-owned airwaves…and indoctrinating children.

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