Marty had a choice when he met his new client on “House of Lies” (Sun., 10 p.m. EST on Showtime). After first mistaking Doug for Marty, and then assuming it must be Clyde — he even shot Jeannie a quick glance first — he seemed reluctant and chagrined to realize that the team leader for this particular group was in fact the one African-American in the room.
His choices were to get offended, or to roll with it and close the deal. Ever the professional, and clearly focused on the color green, Marty decided not to let the color of his skin become a deterrent. So he took it as an opportunity to put the eager Jeannie in the driver’s seat. If nothing else, she could be the pretty — and “appropriately colored” — face on the pitch that would apparently go down easier.
In the closing meeting, when Jeannie was pushing for a diversification of their brand — as the company was in such great shape there was no real reason for them to need consultants — and it was failing bad, Marty stepped up and provided the hook that should have reeled them in. And it did, but not until the client turned to Jeannie to see what she thought of Marty’s words. Marty’s words that had just saved her flailing behind.
She agreed with Marty and the deal was sealed. Everyone gets to make money, and Marty gets to get out of a place where he’s not appreciated for what he brings to the table. Once again, though, he tabled any fully appropriate negative feelings for the business.
It was certainly an unconventional way to approach racial issues on a show that seems determined to push so many social boundaries (like Marty’s son Roscoe’s gender identification). It certainly made the client look foolish to the viewer, but there was no attempt to fix his worldview or teach him anything. It was simply a matter of working around his narrow-minded bigotry to achieve the end goal of closing the deal. Business trumps all?
Watch “House of Lies” Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on Showtime.
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