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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.

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

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.

True

When Sue Hoppin was in college, she met the man she was going to marry. "I was attending the University of Denver, and he was at the Air Force Academy," she says. "My dad had also attended the University of Denver and warned me not to date those flyboys from the Springs."

"He didn't say anything about marrying one of them," she says. And so began her life as a military spouse.

The life brings some real advantages, like opportunities to live abroad — her family got to live all around the US, Japan, and Germany — but it also comes with some downsides, like having to put your spouse's career over your own goals.

"Though we choose to marry someone in the military, we had career goals before we got married, and those didn't just disappear."

Career aspirations become more difficult to achieve, and progress comes with lots of starts and stops. After experiencing these unique challenges firsthand, Sue founded an organization to help other military spouses in similar situations.

Sue had gotten a degree in international relations because she wanted to pursue a career in diplomacy, but for fourteen years she wasn't able to make any headway — not until they moved back to the DC area. "Eighteen months later, many rejections later, it became apparent that this was going to be more challenging than I could ever imagine," she says.

Eighteen months is halfway through a typical assignment, and by then, most spouses are looking for their next assignment. "If I couldn't find a job in my own 'hometown' with multiple degrees and a great network, this didn't bode well for other military spouses," she says.

She's not wrong. Military spouses spend most of their lives moving with their partners, which means they're often far from family and other support networks. When they do find a job, they often make less than their civilian counterparts — and they're more likely to experience underemployment or unemployment. In fact, on some deployments, spouses are not even allowed to work.

Before the pandemic, military spouse unemployment was 22%. Since the pandemic, it's expected to rise to 35%.

Sue eventually found a job working at a military-focused nonprofit, and it helped her get the experience she needed to create her own dedicated military spouse program. She wrote a book and started saving up enough money to start the National Military Spouse Network (NMSN), which she founded in 2010 as the first organization of its kind.

"I founded the NMSN to help professional military spouses develop flexible careers they could perform from any location."

"Over the years, the program has expanded to include a free digital magazine, professional development events, drafting annual White Papers and organizing national and local advocacy to address the issues of most concern to the professional military spouse community," she says.

Not only was NMSN's mission important to Sue on a personal level she also saw it as part of something bigger than herself.

"Gone are the days when families can thrive on one salary. Like everyone else, most military families rely on two salaries to make ends meet. If a military spouse wants or needs to work, they should be able to," she says.

"When less than one percent of our population serves in the military," she continues, "we need to be able to not only recruit the best and the brightest but also retain them."

"We lose out as a nation when service members leave the force because their spouse is unable to find employment. We see it as a national security issue."

"The NMSN team has worked tirelessly to jumpstart the discussion and keep the challenges affecting military spouses top of mind. We have elevated the conversation to Congress and the White House," she continues. "I'm so proud of the fact that corporations, the government, and the general public are increasingly interested in the issues affecting military spouses and recognizing the employment roadblocks they unfairly have faced."

"We have collectively made other people care, and in doing so, we elevated the issues of military spouse unemployment to a national and global level," she adds. "In the process, we've also empowered military spouses to advocate for themselves and our community so that military spouse employment issues can continue to remain at the forefront."

Not only has NMSN become a sought-after leader in the military spouse employment space, but Sue has also seen the career she dreamed of materializing for herself. She was recently invited to participate in the public re-launch of Joining Forces, a White House initiative supporting military and veteran families, with First Lady Dr. Jill Biden.

She has also had two of her recommendations for practical solutions introduced into legislation just this year. She was the first in the Air Force community to show leadership the power of social media to reach both their airmen and their military families.

That is why Sue is one of Tory Burch's "Empowered Women" this year. The $5,000 donation will be going to The Madeira School, a school that Sue herself attended when she was in high school because, she says, "the lessons I learned there as a student pretty much set the tone for my personal and professional life. It's so meaningful to know that the donation will go towards making a Madeira education more accessible to those who may not otherwise be able to afford it and providing them with a life-changing opportunity."

Most military children will move one to three times during high school so having a continuous four-year experience at one high school can be an important gift. After traveling for much of her formative years, Sue attended Madeira and found herself "in an environment that fostered confidence and empowerment. As young women, we were expected to have a voice and advocate not just for ourselves, but for those around us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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