Saturday, July 30, 2011

Russian Dolls: Russian Escorts, What’s In A Name?

The working title of the series was originally Brighton Beach. This was supposed to be a Russian Jersey Shore, hence the beach. But, the final title, Russian Dolls, is making waves in the Russian community, who find the new title more than a little offensive. What’s the big deal?

Well, it turns out, for those of us who had no clue, that Russian Dolls is a coined term for escort services, better known as prostitution fronts. Community leaders were outraged that on top of the fact they are being portrayed in a very negative light. The title just added more fuel to the fire. An undisclosed source revealed that the decision to rename the show was made by Lifetime and not a production team decision.

Just two weeks before the show is due to air, the Brighton beach community is still after Lifetime to kill the show. I doubt very much that will happen. However, I do agree with the Brighton Beach residents that the title of this show is offensive. Lifetime knew it would get a bad reaction and they knew exactly what the term meant. Stereotypes are one thing. People can choose to believe in them or not. I am not offended by Jersey Shore or Mob Wives even though I am of Italian decent. I know those shows do not represent me or anyone I know. So I have no sympathy for the Russian community when they protest about portrayal. But I do sympathize with them when it comes to the total lack of taste and good judgment on the part of Lifetime in selecting that title. Aside from being insulting and offensive, it may end up indirectly promoting the escort services. Even I did a search or two, for blog purposes, to see if I could find any Russian Escort services in Brighton Beach.

Why would Lifetime want to add insult to injury to a community that they are portraying on their show? Brighton Beach was a perfectly good title. I think they should have left well enough alone.  What do you think?

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