American Auto (2021) s01e06 Episode Script


So on the 15th, you have an interview with "Autoweek.
" And then do you wanna do anything with this roller rink thing? What roller rink thing? A roller rink in the boonies was doing a families day and turned away a family with two moms.
I mean, not to sound heartless.
I obviously want gay families to enjoy roller skating as much as the rest of us, but what does this have to do with us? Well, everyone expects companies to be social advocates these days.
I mean, I was admonished by my coffee cup this morning for not having neutered my dog.
Actually, I stopped eating Fritos after that Balloon Boy thing.
- What did Fritos do? - I don't really remember.
I just stuck to it.
I just don't see how donating to some charity moves the needle on the elusive dream of roller rink equality.
It's not a donation.
Most companies are just tweeting a rainbow square.
- A rainbow square? That's it? - Well, it's virtue signaling.
- I didn't post one.
- Well, I mean, you get a free pass, don't you? You probably didn't have to post a black square - when everyone was doing that.
- Ah, so lucky.
Yes, being a gay Black man in America is, as they say, a breeze.
Look, if all we have to do is tweet some dumb square, - then yeah, let's tweet it.
- Got it.
I'll post one immediately.
Post two.
Go nuts.
Look, if we don't take a stand, who will? - - Hey, fam.
Today, Payne Motors decided to do the bare minimum to show their support for the LGBTQIA community.
Thank you, Payne, for saving the world by posting that rainbow square.
- Oh, God.
- Especially since all their commercials have one thing in common: zero LGBTQIA representation.
- It already has like, a million views.
- I hate teenage girls.
Where do they even find time to do this kind of research? I'm not sure she's totally wrong, though.
We do have a blind spot here.
I mean, GLAAD just put out a statement condemning us.
Who cares what GLAAD says? They're garbage people.
- Whoa! - That's one too far.
- You can't say that.
- What? I just think it's weird that the people who make trash bags get to chime in on this stuff.
Oh, boy.
I think you're thinking about Glad, - the garbage bags.
- Mm-hmm.
This is the Gay and Lesbian A Alliance? - Is it alliance? - Association.
- Activist for - Discriminatory? I don't know how he doesn't know this.
- There's five A's, it's GLAAAAAD.
- Yeah, but anyway.
It's the gays.
- Mm.
So what should we do about this? Is there another square we can tweet? Ooh, I think this is bigger than a square now.
- Come on.
- We could make a donation to GLAAD, the advocacy group.
- Not trash bags.
- I mean, it's a lovely gesture, but I don't think it really raises awareness.
Raising awareness of what? That gay people exist? I'm pretty sure we're aware.
We're not a bashful people.
I just think it's about representation.
People like to see people like themselves on TV, that's it.
Well, whatever our next commercial is, we better make damn sure that there are some gay people in it.
Oh What? Remember the Magellan? The minivan that serial killer was driving? We rebranded.
The Payne Magellan.
For every type of family.
Every type of family - except for the gay ones.
- Right.
We've been working on this for months.
You cannot honestly be thinking about reshooting it a week before it airs just because some teenager made a mean video about you.
It was really mean.
I mean, she had, you know, graphics and everything.
We can't air another commercial with no LGBTQ representation one week after rainbow square-gate.
No, okay, but maybe we do have representation.
Right? I mean, for all we know, every single one of those people could be gay.
They're just not talking about it.
You know why? Because they're in a car commercial.
So it just didn't come up.
Look, I'm not suggesting we reshoot the whole thing.
Just the last few seconds with the different families, except we replace one of them with same-sex parents.
So the message is Payne stands for all families.
- Is that possible? - Well, we'd have to recast and and shoot it and then and then edit it, get it ready to air - in a week.
- Okay.
- Yeah.
- Which, no.
Even if we could do that that's a giant if is it really gonna be worth it to spend probably seven figures just so we can appease the woke mob? Can we get the blue van in here, please? Should have been here five minutes ago.
I really hate teenage girls.
This is such a waste of time.
Oh, my God, tell me about it.
Half of these TikTok videos are kids dancing and the other half are people saying the second tower never fell.
No, I'm talking about the reshoot.
I'm not on social media.
Don't really need to get into arguments with liberal nut jobs about my white privilege.
Yeah, I'm sure the world is worse off for not having your hot takes, Frank.
I'm getting breakfast.
I might even get eggs with salsa unless that's considered cultural appropriation now.
- Frank sucks, right? - Very much so.
How's it looking, dude? Um, good, dude.
Wesley Payne, client.
You're the director, I presume.
- Yep.
- Cool.
God, I love the energy of a set, man.
Just everyone doing things.
I did a part of a film program one summer, - so I know the basics.
- Uh-huh.
There he is.
Hey, what do you think about for the first shot? You thinking about something like this where you are right now? I'm the camera.
Or like, maybe one of these? Or even like, a come around that way? Mmm.
Man, this is so cool, Cyrus.
I've never been on a set before, man.
This one's okay.
I mean, a couple years ago, we did a Super Bowl commercial and they had crab legs.
Mm, now that was an amazing shoot.
You guys, I just saw the actor that played Nick's brother on an episode of "Cincinnati Blue.
" I can't believe he's doing commercials now.
Well, I don't think a guest spot on one episode of television equals ten seasons of "Friends.
" Um, I think he's doing very well.
- Go say hi.
- No.
Like I'm some crazy stalker or something? He's a celebrity.
Is he a celebrity, though? Have you seen his IMDb page? He got like, 30 credits where he wrote, directed, produced, acted, and edited all of them by himself.
He's like a multi hyphenate.
- Thursday? - Yeah, that's good.
Glad to see we've got adequate mime representation on set.
Honestly, melanoma would be less embarrassing than that.
Well, I'm sorry that coming as I do from the tropical paradise of the United Kingdom, I'm not exactly well adapted to the sun.
But anyway, I met the two women in the new couple.
They're they seem lovely.
Oh, do they read as authentic? - Authentic minivan drivers? - No, I just mean it's to make sure that they read as a couple.
You know? Not as, you know, like sisters or Do they look like lesbians? I don't think lesbians look a particular way.
Oh, no, no.
I get that.
I do.
I get that.
I'm not like Frank.
I'm not like, stereotyping.
It's just they're gonna be onscreen for one millisecond.
I mean, how are people gonna know that they're, you know, a couple? Just the same way they'll know the other families are couples.
To be fair, there is a lot of, you know, implicit bias.
You know, lots of people think "couple," they think mom and dad.
- Right.
- You know, not me.
I see two fellas walking down the street together, I'm like, "Where are the kids?" You know? Probably with the babysitter, I would think.
Exactly it's just it's just that we're spending all this money on reshoots to change stereotypes.
How much would it suck to get to the end and have people be like, "Oh, hey.
Look, there's two families and a pair of platonic friends driving their kids home"? Okay, so what do you wanna do? We put a rainbow flag sticker - on the back of the car? - Or what about this? They at the end, they get out and they like, clasp hands.
But you know, we shoot it in such a way that you can see both of their wedding rings.
So maybe the camera spins around the hands.
Or I can talk to wardrobe.
You know what? That's a great idea.
- Right.
- Thank you.
Excuse me, sorry to interrupt.
No worries.
First off, everyone looks great.
So good job.
Um The women in the new couple, wondering if they each should wear something a little more tailored or quirky? Maybe like a vest? - Maybe over a dress shirt.
- Like Diane Keaton? Well, I was thinking like, more off the top of my head, um, like Ellen's kinda style actually.
Oh, you want me to lez them up a little.
No, I didn't say that.
I did not say that.
I would never say that.
I just think that we don't need to adhere to any sort of like, feminine type by heteronormative standards.
Yeah, they should just wear whatever they would normally wear in their day-to-day lives as lesbians Americans as lesbian Americans.
But I'm a lesbian - and I'd wear what they're wearing.
- Great.
And I'm pretty sure one of them isn't even gay.
But, hey, you're the boss.
I'll throw bolo ties on them - if you want me to.
- Mm.
You know what? It's fine.
Ah, I love it.
- Thanks again.
- Thank you.
Okay, so there's a chance that one of the actresses playing a lesbian could be straight.
So don't lots of straight people play gay characters? I mean, Jake Gyllenhaal, - Tom Hanks, Channing Tatum? - Mm-mm.
I don't think Channing's ever played gay.
He's just a good dancer.
It's just it's complicated right now because we're already under the spotlight.
We don't need a story getting out that even when we do have a gay character, we cast a straight actress.
- It's hard.
- What about Hugh Jackman? Did we ever get an answer on that one? Can we just focus on one issue at a time? Fine.
I mean, you said there's a chance that she might be straight.
Can we ask? Ooh, absolutely not.
That's a real legal red flag.
So no asking.
Are you really putting that under your sleeve? You know the sun ain't a tick.
It don't just get in the crevices.
So to sum up, if we ask a straight actress to play a gay character, we get in trouble.
But if ask her if she's gay, we also get in trouble? Yeah.
Cyrus, what do you think we should do? Well, on one hand, I don't feel comfortable being the voice of the entire gay community.
On the other hand, they just put out dessert crepes and I really wanna get one before they've all been picked over.
So Good luck.
I got a shot list.
If it's helpful, it's, uh - There you go.
That's - Wow.
- Yeah, that would be the car, the blue one.
- Yeah.
And then all the arrows - would be the cameras.
- Great, well, you hang onto that, and I will I'll let you know if I need it.
Yeah, no.
I like living life.
I like that.
- Yeah.
- Just let the creativity flow.
I got this when you need it in my hands.
So are we recasting? I can place a rush call to another actress, but it'll take one to two hours.
- We'll have to decide now.
- Do you know what it's called when someone pretends to be something that they're not? Acting, right? So Johnny Depp is not a pirate.
Do we have to recast him so we don't offend pirate Americans? If we recast, how do we make sure we get an actual legit lesbian? Okay, look, just to be absolutely clear again, we cannot ask anyone about their sexual orientation as a condition of employment.
Reese Witherspoon did not go to Harvard Law School to win back her boyfriend.
Okay, what if we tell the casting people that we want accurate representation? And when you say accurate, maybe wink a little bit so they kinda know what you mean.
- I'll be talking to them on the phone.
- It's okay.
Just wink with your voice.
Just be like, "We need an accurate lesbian.
" Sorry, one question, what are we supposed to do with the actress that we currently have? Because obviously, we can't let her go for being not a lesbian.
Is there somewhere else that we could find to put her? Stick her wherever you want.
I don't care.
I'm here till 6:00.
Uh, just a heads up, we lose the child actors in about four hours, so we might wanna keep that in mind.
Great, that's super helpful.
Thank you so much 'cause what we need right now is more pressure.
Okay, so do we care what race the actress is? - Doesn't matter.
- Well, white.
What? Well, 'cause her partner is white.
So? Well, doesn't matter to me personally, but there are, you know, people out there who have old fashioned views.
And hey, they buy cars too.
So Is what you're saying that when it came to casting our two other couples, you specifically paired white with white and Black with Black because you wanted to make sure that we pandered to segregationists? Please tell me that is not what you are telling me, Frank.
You know.
Okay, we're gonna mix things up.
Dads, switch cars.
Moms, stay where you are.
Moms, you're good.
Dads, gotta move.
We're still at driver's side though? Yes, men still behind the wheel.
No, no, no.
This time this this this this time, the woman drives.
She should let the director say that stuff.
Hi, I just wanna say that everyone is loving what you're doing.
- Really? - You are knocking it out the park.
And I just have to say that your episode of "Cincinnati Blue" was awesome.
Oh, wow.
Thank you.
Yeah, I you know, I was hoping to be a recurring, - but who knows, right? - Yeah.
Have you seen any of my other stuff? - No, just the just the one.
- Oh, I've been in a couple indies.
You know, one got into Slamdance in 2015, - "No Other Exit.
" - "No Other Exit"? The low budget action thriller with Lou Diamond Phillips.
- Oh, okay.
- Ah, it was a blast.
But it felt like, you know, we were saying something.
- You know? - Mm-hmm.
Matter of fact, let me find you a clip from the movie.
Me and LDP got into a little fight in the film.
I punched him in the face and he beat my character to death.
- It was so much fun.
- Oh, okay.
- Yeah, there it is.
There it is.
- There's the That's me.
I'm in the puddle of blood.
- Yeah.
Oh, you're dead.
- Yeah.
Oh, looks like casting sent over the new actress.
- Quick turnaround.
- Yeah.
Oh, yeah.
I think she probably identifies as a LGBT et cetera - in real life, right? - I mean, you can't tell just by looking at someone, - but I think it's - That's the butchest lesbian - I've even seen in my life.
- Mm-hmm.
- Not a lot of ambiguity.
- Mm-mm.
- Oh, okay.
- Yeah.
And do they look like they would be together? Like, is there chemistry there, do you think? Well, I mean, they're certainly different types.
But I believe there is you know, that's quite common in that community.
- Isn't that right? - Yeah, ask him.
Hmm, I'm trying to remember everything they taught us about lesbians at How To Be Gay Camp, but it's been a while.
Wait, why are they putting the other one in the back? What is she? Their tutor? Oh, well, remember, we have to put her somewhere, so Well, having all three of them together like that doesn't look like they're a throuple, does it? How can they be a throuple? The one in the back's not even a lesbian.
Well, the audience doesn't know that.
Then why the [bleep.]
did we just replace her to begin with? Well, maybe we can make it look like she's someone they picked up.
You know, someone's got into distress, the car's broken down, she's got jumper cables.
You know, I'll talk to props.
Okay, hello.
Sorry, are you props? No? Sorry, is there, um sorry, hi, friend.
Are you props? You know what? Maybe we should get a picture or something like that? I mean, it doesn't happen every day where you, you know, you meet a celebrity and he meets a fan.
Nah, I'm good actually.
You sure you don't want a selfie? The lighting's great here.
- Sure.
You know - Yeah, let's do it.
Here, I'll take that.
I got long arms.
Oh, you'll take it? Okay.
Say, "Bennet.
" There it is.
Okay, here.
Let's get one with my phone.
Oh, two pictures.
Yeah, acting.
- Yes.
- That's good.
Hey, when you post that, can you tag my manager in it as well? - Your manager? - I'd like for her to know - I still got the heat.
- Stacy, girl.
Just looking for you, girl.
Come here.
Come on, Bennet.
How we looking? We changing hearts and minds finally? Yes, we have a well-represented, multi-racial ad that we can be proud of.
Oh, but wait.
What if the Proud Boys don't buy our cars anymore? Oh, no.
You're acting like I have a problem with any of this, but I don't care.
I really just wanna sell cars.
- Mm-hmm.
- And actually, you know, that guy's skin is so light that now that he's being paired with her, from here, he kinda just looks like a white guy.
If anything, you've actually just reduced the amount of diversity in this thing.
Oh, come on.
But the actor is, in fact, Black, right? Yes, but he's light Black.
- What are we, crayons? - Now that he's next to a white woman, you're worried because you think people will think that he's white? Exactly.
I mean, I don't know.
- Does it matter? - I mean, you tell me.
If it seems like there's only one Black actor in the commercial, won't that seem like tokenism? Yeah, but it isn't tokenism because 'cause the guy is actually Black, right? But will it look like tokenism if no one knows he's Black? Is there something we can do with makeup to make him look darker? - Wesley.
- Come on, man.
- Just put him in blackface.
- No, no, no.
Stop, stop.
I'm saying, he's already Black.
We'd just be increasing his level of Blackness.
Wes, you can go sit over there with Frank in the Cancelled Forever tent.
Is part of the worry that by casting that actor, we're playing into the narrative of the safe, light skinned Black man? - Oh, my God.
- Wasn't before.
It is now.
- I mean, should we recast? - So first we recast an actress because she might not be gay in real life; now we're recasting an actor who is, in fact, Black in real life, but might not appear Black on screen.
Yeah, right, it's like, I mean, are we finally allowed to say like, woke culture has gone a little bit too far? Yeah, I don't think we're allowed to say that.
Absolutely not then.
Let's not say that.
Carry on.
Is there even time to bring in a new actor? Uh.
Hey, hall monitor.
Hey, if we wanted to replace another actor, could we? We wouldn't make our day.
Also, we only got a couple hours left with the kids.
Okay, great.
I only asked you one question.
I just needed that one answer.
But thank you for giving me a lesson on time management skills.
You're a real real peach.
Thank you so much.
God, that guy is a grade-A dud.
Okay, okay, okay.
Maybe there's someone here who's not white, who could sub in.
Or maybe even one of us? Oh, let's use Jack.
Yeah, you're fine, respectfully.
Thank you, but no.
I'm not really I was an athlete.
- I'm not really an actor.
- Relax, Denzel.
You just have to step out of a car and wave.
"You know, man say he got a dream.
Woman say, 'Eat your eggs, Walter Lee.
'" "Raisin in the Sun.
" See, I did a lot of theatre growing up, and I've been considering going back to doing it again.
I would love to hear all about that.
Jack, are you in? Yeah.
What the hell? I'll give it a shot.
Okay, great.
A star is born, guys.
- That's awesome.
- Yes, he saved the day.
I'm sorry to pour cold water on everyone's happy dreams of stardom, but we can't release the actor based on his race.
So now we need to find a job for that guy as well.
Just a square.
Just tweet a square.
What could go wrong? You okay? I I've never acted before.
I don't quite know what to do with my arms.
- Your arms.
- My arms.
Well, um, what would you do with them normally? Something like this.
Yeah, something like this or this.
Something like this, yeah.
Well, when I'm sitting in a car, um, I normally hold my arms kind of like this.
That looks really good to me.
That looks really natural to me.
- You should go with that.
- It-it surprisingly feels pretty damn good.
- Does it? - It feels good.
I wanted to give you some signed headshots and a copy of "No Other Exit" in case I didn't see you before we wrap.
- Oh, three copies.
- Yeah.
And a DVD.
That's the one that was in the 2015 Slamdance festival.
I'll be sure to watch this.
Okay, great.
DM me sometime, okay? - DM? - Yeah.
I'll see you.
This is the craziest day of my directing career.
Me too, man.
You cannot eat nine slices.
That's not human.
I definitely can.
I'll prove it to you.
- Any night you want.
- Oh, you're on.
- We're so doing this.
- It's settled then.
- Okay.
- You, me.
Triple pepp deep dish.
They actually look pretty good together.
I'd buy them as a couple.
Ah, they're fine.
It's just a stupid commercial.
It's not like a Nora Ephron movie.
Let's not read too much into it.
What is going? Hey, excuse me.
- Can we shoot already? - Actually, all the kids have timed out.
So we gotta send them home.
Now? We're about to shoot.
Yeah, I tried to warn you about that earlier, but you told me to shut up, so that's what I did.
All right, let's say good night to the kids.
Good night, kids.
Good night.
What's with his attitude? We don't have time to bring in other kids.
We're losing light as is.
We're losing light, guys.
Gotta move.
So, we are gonna film a family commercial with a bunch of grownups standing around empty swing sets - like a Stephen King movie? - Or here's a wild idea.
Why don't we use our original commercial which was perfectly fine as is? We will get killed in the press.
Especially if it got out that we were shooting this version and still aired the old one.
There is one sliver of light left.
What are you? A [bleep.]
vampire? How do you not have rickets? [bleep.]
I-I-I take supplements.
The Payne Magellan.
For every type of family.
I gotta say, the combination of abandoned swing sets and minivans with no children is a bit creepy.
Yes, it does have a sort of post-apocalyptic "Children of Men" type quality to it.
The lighting, the angles, not what I would've done.
Jack, you were good, though.
- Thanks, it was fun.
- Yeah, looked fun.
So what do you wanna do? Do we air this? Might as well.
No one watches commercials anymore anyway.

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