Behind the viral push to save one of the most inclusive shows on TV.

If Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher can do it, so can Hollywood's biggest names.

The good news: A really funny, awesomely diverse sitcom wrapped up work on its second season. The bad news: You might never get to see it.

Any Seeso subscribers in the house? Likely not, and that's kind of what's causing this predicament. On Wednesday, the NBCUniversal-backed comedy streaming service announced plans to shut down after about a year and a half in operation.

It's sad news, too, because Seeso was home to "Take My Wife," a critically acclaimed sitcom from IRL married duo Cameron Esposito and Rhea Butcher. The show follows the slightly fictionalized lives of Esposito and Butcher as they try to find personal and professional success. The premise — comedians just trying to make it in the real world — is well-worn territory, but you've almost certainly never seen it done like this.


The show's second season recently finished filming, but with Seeso calling it quits, there's no telling if and when it will ever air.

It's an important show, and it's absolutely worth saving.

In case "Take My Wife" never finds a home (hopefully it will), Esposito tweeted a few important stats about the second season's production — specifically, the demographics of the cast and crew.

She urged followers to retweet her original post and help spread the message using the #TakeMyWife hashtag.

People of color, women, and members of the LGBTQ community are under-represented both in front of and behind the camera. "Take My Wife" set out to change that.

A report from the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA looked at 200 top-grossing films and more than 1,200 TV shows between 2014 and 2015 and found that women and people of color were underrepresented on screen and in production. GLAAD ran a similar analysis with similar results about the role of LGBTQ people in entertainment media.

Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Los Angeles LGBT Center.

With "Take My Wife," Esposito and Butcher made a concerted effort to involve members of historically underrepresented communities in the show's production. They hope this proof of concept sends a message to Hollywood execs — but if there's hope of persuading industry power players to change how they cast and hire, it probably helps if, you know, the finished product actually airs somewhere.

Creating a world where people can see themselves in the media they consume has an effect beyond just this show.

Riley Silverman, a trans comic from Los Angeles, landed a role on "Take My Wife." In a series of tweets, she nailed why diverse, representative media is important.

More than just characters on a screen, representation is about not feeling alone in the world. "It would have meant the world to me to see myself represented," Silverman says via Twitter direct message. "We didn't talk about any of this stuff when I was a kid so I spent years of my life thinking I was just broken. The first time I heard anything trans related was as a punchline in a Cracked magazine parody of Batman, and yet it still made me realize there were others like me out there and I wasn't alone. And maybe I would be okay."

Pop stars Tegan and Sara, who appeared in the "Take My Wife" holiday special, tweeted, "I wonder what my life would have looked like if I'd seen thoughtful + positive #LGBTQ representation on TV when I was young."

A handful of the show's writers and actors got in on the action, heaping praise on Esposito and Butcher's work and support...

...as did the show's fans, celebrities, and media figures, bringing the #TakeMyWife hashtag to Twitter's list of trending topics.

Travis McElroy of "My Brother, My Brother and Me" (which was also on Seeso and has been saved by a different streaming platform), joined the fight.

Hopefully, a network or streaming provider will realize that there's a really great show ready for the world to see and give it the audience it truly deserves. You can get involved in the push to save the show by tweeting using the #TakeMyWife hashtag.

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Brian Olesen never imagined he would end up homeless.

The former U.S. Air Force medic had led a full and active life, complete with a long career in the medical field, a 20-year marriage, and a love of anything aquatic. But after hip surgery and chronic back pain left him disabled in 2013, he lost his ability to work. Due to changes in eligibility requirements, he couldn't qualify for federal veteran housing programs. His back issues were difficult to prove medically, so he didn't qualify for disability. Though he'd worked his whole life, having no income for five years took its toll. He got evicted from a couple of apartments and found himself living on the streets.

But in 2018, two things completely turned Olesen's life around. He was able to both qualify for disability and to move into an affordable housing community in Miami's Goulds neighborhood called Karis Village.

When people think of affordable housing, they don't usually picture a place like Karis Village. The 88-unit development is brand new, and built with an attention to design that is not always expected for developments that serve as home to people on limited incomes. The apartments have tile floors, marble countertops, and all new appliances and furniture, and the grounds are beautiful and well-kept, with a playground and common areas for residents to gather.

Brian Olesen in his kitchen at Karis VillageCapital One

Karis Village isn't just a housing development; it's a home and a community. Half of the units are set aside for veterans who have experienced homelessness, like Olesen. The other half are largely occupied by single-parent families.

"To me, this building was just a gift," says Olesen. "All of the different parties that got together to put this building together… making half the building available to veterans. We've got no place to go."

Addressing veteran homelessness was one of the goals of Karis Village, which was built through a partnership that included Carrfour Supportive Housing — a mission-driven, not-for-profit affordable housing organization in southern Florida — and Capital One's Community Finance team. More than just an affordable place to live, the community has full-time staff on hand to help coordinate services—from addiction recovery programs to transportation options to job search and placement. Also included are peer counselors who provide emotional and psychological support for residents.

Karis Village, an affordable housing community in Miami, Florida.Capital One

Carrfour President and CEO Stephanie Berman says the core function of the services team on site is to build a supportive community.

"Often when you think of folks leaving homelessness and coming into housing, you think of shelters or some kind of traditional housing," she says. "You don't really think about a community, and that's really what we build and what we operate. What we're really striving to create is community. We find that our families thrive when you create a sense of community."

The intention to create a supportive community at Karis Village was a priority from the get go. Fabian Ramirez, a Capital Officer on Capital One's Community Finance team, says the bank did a listening tour in southern Florida to explore community development and affordable housing options in the area and to hear what was most needed. After deciding to partner with Carrfour, the bank provided not only an $8 million construction loan and a $25 million low income housing tax credit (LIHTC) investment to help build Karis Village, but it also kicked in a $250,000 social purpose grant to help fund the social support services that would be put in place for residents.

"It's not just all about providing the brick and mortar," says Ramirez. "It's about being able to contribute to the sustainability of the development and of the lives of the people who move into the building."


Capital One

Olesen says he and his fellow residents benefit greatly from the network of support services offered in the building. He says a counselor comes to meet with him once a month, sometimes right in his apartment. He also gets help maintaining a connection with the Veteran Affairs office. Other services include social workers and counselors for drug addiction and alcoholism.

Olesen loves being around other veterans, and he says hearing the sound of children playing keeps the community lively. He says anywhere else he could afford to live on disability wouldn't be nearly as nice and would likely involve shared kitchens and bathrooms and neighborhoods you wouldn't want to go out in at night.

If it weren't for Karis Village, Olesen says he doesn't know where he would be today: "I had nowhere to go and this is a safe, beautiful place to spend my retirement."

"I don't think they could have done a much better job of putting this place together and supplying us with what we need," he says. "I have so much appreciation for the ability to have a place to live. And then you add to that that it's beautiful and completely furnished and you didn't need to bring anything—I don't know what more you could ask for."

Karis Village and another development for veterans built the same year enabled the neighborhood of Goulds to meet the requirements set forth by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to declare an end to veteran homelessness in the area.

Ending veteran homelessness altogether is a complex task, but communities like Karis Village show how it can be done—and done well. When government agencies, non-profit organizations, and corporate funding programs come together to solve big problems, big solutions can be built and maintained.

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