On September 10th of this year the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) posted a press release informing the world that “from October 19-25, more than 60 network TV shows [will] spotlight the power and personal benefits of service,” and that this “unprecedented block of TV programming is the first wave of a multi-year ‘I Participate’ campaign.”
On its face this all sounds rather benign in that silly, liberal do-gooder kind of way. The networks have launched these kinds of campaigns before and other than some clunky exposition awkwardly inserted into your favorite show to meet the mandate — no harm, no foul.
But this year there are a couple new strangers in town: “Volunteerism” and “Service.” You’ve heard of them. Their names have been bandied everywhere since President Obama took office, and this internal memo from the EIF to network showrunners obtained by Big Hollywood shows that the entertainment industry is well acquainted and eager to introduce both to as vast an audience as possible: