We love movies and TV because of their spontaneity- everybody wants to know what happens next when a story can turn on a dime. What's deceptive, though, is the care that does into that so-called spontaneity. Every part of production is carefully thought out, from the first pitch to the final cut. One aspect of this systematic planning is drawing the ire of a group of rising importance and might be completely flipped on its head in the near future.
The central issue here is furniture. Think of any movie you've seen in theaters recently, and there's a 98 percent chance that the main characters, when in a living room environment, are sitting on a sofa or loveseat.
"That's a big problem," says Gel McUrhard, leader of the rights group UPHOLSTER (UPward Holding Of Lounges, STools, and Easychair Recliners). "We're completely erasing a large part of our furnitureal heritage by relegating our favorite characters to simple couches."
McUrhard and UPHOLSTER argue that chaise lounges, along with other furniture styles, are critically underrepresented in our media- and when they are, they're forced into stereotypical situations. For example, in Wesley Arsul's upcoming buddy detective thriller rom-com Stogies XIV, the antagonist, a cold-blooded psychoanalyst, spends most on-screen time sitting in a black easter chair. This issue of "chaiseism" has slowly risen from an outsider theory to one of the major problems facing Hollywood today.
UPHOLSTER is doing all it can to increase the representation of furniture in popular media, a process they are calling "diversofacation."
"It's kind of a fun name," says McUrhard. "We're very serious about furniture discrimination, but sometimes we like to mix it up. There's a wacky costume party meet-and-greet coming up. It'd be great if you told people to come. Also, can you not publish that I asked you to publish that? I can still see you writing on your notepad."
Readers wishing to learn more about chaiseism can attend Gel McUrhard's Furniture Discrimination and Contact Juggling Meet'n'Greet next month at O'Doughgherty's Old-Fashioned Surplus Warehouse. Female attendees are encouraged to wear business casual or, if possible, a nurse-themed Halloween costume.