I’ve been watching CNN for the past 24 hours, which I never, ever do, but the storm coverage is dramatic and of course, there was the Ali Velshi factor. The surprising part to me was the political ad that kept running – every single commercial break. I forget that it’s standard issue in the U.S. The election follows everyone everywhere, and nobody can say they don’t have a part in it. Everyone wants desperately for their guy to win, and they’re going to lengths I don’t feel like I’ve seen before.
Connie Britton and Sarah Aubrey wrote this article in USA Today. Most reports glazed over the Sarah Aubrey part and just say Britton wrote it, but Aubrey was an executive producer on Friday Night Lights, which is important for reasons I’ll get to in a minute.
The article starts to be about how Mitt Romney shouldn’t use the phrase “Clear Eyes/Full Hearts”, but that’s just drawing in readers. This isn’t about copyright infringement or trying to falsely claim he’s just like the working-class heroes on our show. This is about something much more…direct.
Britton and Aubrey point out in the article that the women of Dillon, Texas wanted equal pay, and that Tami Taylor would have been the first to demand it – with all the others following her lead. They point out that Matt Saracen’s grandma would have been able to get the health care she needed under Obamacare. They make a point of mentioning that Planned Parenthood plays in the lives of three women on the show – not just Becky’s abortion, but Tami’s pregnancy test, and Smash Williams’ mom Corinna, who worked there – and was warm and comforting when Tami needed that. All things, of course, that Romney opposes.
Their point – that women in Dillon, Texas, would want and need Obama – is fascinating. Because it doesn’t say that Dillon’s a Democrat town – we know better than that – or that the opinions of many on the show, including the outcry over Becky’s safe, legal abortion, don’t exist. That would be lazy and easy and FNL was never either of those things.
But they point out that loving those women and wanting the best for them means you have to want Obama. It’s brave because it risks alienating dyed-in-the-wool Republican fans of the show (not to mention those who watch Nashville because it seems to promote good old southern values). That’s why it’s so important that this isn’t just some “Hollywood Celebrity” running her mouth. The Executive Producer’s involvement says “yeah, dudes, this is indeed the official position of the show. Get on board or get lost”. You don’t have to be a Democrat to enjoy Friday Night Lights – but you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think that’s the ethos behind it.
It’s a common presumption that most creative types in the “liberal media” are going to be fans of the more liberal candidate. Stumping for them is nothing new. But let’s face it – they’re wealthy enough not to have to worry about health care costs or equal pay. This is another example of putting one woman’s public face out there for the benefit of many. It’s a trend I could really get used to.