Business or Pleasure
Back to You is a U.S. situational comedy TV series made by Fox and directed by James Burrows. It is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and revolves around the squabbling anchors of a news program. One episode, Business or Pleasure (first broadcast 27 February 2008) featured a side story where a field reporter visits Anthrocon.
Gary Crezyzewski is tasked to cover activity at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center while the rest of the crew go out for steaks. He swiftly realizes that the topic of his report is to be Anthrocon, and expresses dismay; but news director Ryan Church tells him that it is "a big story" with 2,000 people attending every year.
Sports anchor Marsh McGinley doesn't know about the event, but is informed by Ryan that it is a convention for people who "like to wear animal costumes." The question of whether it is a "kinky fetish" is raised; Ryan says "they claim it's not." Ryan emphasizes that Gary must go tonight, as a formal prom honoring Anthrocon's 10th anniversary is being held. Gary heads off, leaving a parting shot about furry fans.
Once at the convention - which is indeed filled with fursuiters - Gary goes out of his way to make "playful" jokes about the attendees at their expense. His cameraman finds them funny, but those he interviews do not, and turn away in disgust. He quips that "at Anthrocon, the only enemies are dignity and personal pride." Returning to the news van, Greg is surprised by a crowd of fursuiters who complain about his attitude. He tries to brush it off as "a lighthearted look at Anthrocon", and when this fails, hops in the van, only to have a padded paw land ominously on his shoulder.
Returning later in a live report flanked by fursuiters, Greg has changed his tune, calling Anthrocon "nothing to joke about" and "good, clean, well-adjusted fun". Indeed, he expresses fear that he might just have to stay the whole weekend among such "popular, fun-loving folks . . . who aren't hurting anyone". Disavowing knowledge of his prior interviews, he encourages everyone to attend - especially the police. As the credits roll, he is seen describing a fursuiter to a police artist, emphasizing the floppiness of the ears and the cuteness of the eyes.
The episode generated significant discussion both before and after its first showing. Some thought that Fox should be sued, while others felt the episode reflected relatively well on the furry fans portrayed, and poorly on the reporting profession (Gary in particular).
The show's producers did not seek permission from Anthrocon, Inc. beforehand; however, convention chairman Uncle Kage believed there to be little basis for trademark infringement if the show did not measurably harm the convention, and remained within the bounds of fair use. Once the whole show was aired, his official response was "LOL!"
|These are the people Trekkies beat up. --Gary Crezyzewski|
|They dress up like animals and then don't have sex with one another? That is so twisted. --Montana Diaz Herrera|
|At six o'clock I interviewed a U.S. senator, and at ten I'll be talking to middle-aged virgins dressed like gophers! -- Gary Crezyzewski|
- Furries on Fox TV Sitcom - Gizmo Nine, (23 February 2008)
- So the Fox Sitcom "Back to You" visited "Anthrocon"... - Gavinfox, (27 Feburary 2008)
- "Back To You" - (23 February 2008)
- My official response to "Back To You." - (28 February 2008)