About BMC 277: Media and Diversity

This course asks students to critically examine the role of the media in facilitating and challenging the social constructions of race, class, gender, and sexual orientation in U.S. culture.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

SCWAMP analysis of Entourage

By: Andy Weidner

Entourage is a comedy show that premiered on HBO on July 18th 2004 and has run for seven seasons and is about to embark on its eighth and final season. Entourage follows a fictitious young actor by the name of Vincent Chase coming into his own with his two best friends and his brother in Hollywood. The show was created by writer Doug Ellin who also writes most of the episodes and has even made guest appearances on the show. The show is loosely based on the life of Mark Wahlberg even though the show has now spun off onto its own legacy. The show’s main purpose is to make Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) the biggest actor on the planet. Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly) is Vince’s best friend and manager. Johnny “Drama” Chase (Kevin Dillon) is Vince’s brother and personal trainer as well as serving as the foursomes chef. Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) is Vince’s driver and good friend, but honestly has no real value to the group other than obtaining marijuana. The only other main character is Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). Ari is the largest agent in Hollywood and he represents Vince.

SCWAMP stands for straight, Christian, white, able-bodied, male, and property ownership. SCWAMP analysis shows that the media doesn’t deviate from a set of norms when presenting movies and shows. I chose to do a SCWAMP analysis of the television series Entourage to show that the television series is incredibly popular and at the same time shares the same values that hundreds of shows have shared for many years. These characteristics show how television executives stick to norms that make certain parts of the viewing community comfortable.


All of the main characters are straight. The four friends are incredibly womanizing and the show is constantly showing them in their sexual escapades or showing them talking about sex. The show does have certain episodes with gay men in them and the characters are generally favorable to them such as episode six in season 2. Eric tries to get a copy of a movie before its release and goes to his friend, a gay movie producer to obtain the movie. The only reoccurring gay character on the show is Lloyd (Rex Lee), Ari’s assistant. While Lloyd is an incredibly lovable character, he is constantly being torn down by Ari, his boss. In E5S6 Lloyd caddies for Ari at a celebrity fundraiser and Ari constantly berates Lloyd as his day gets worse. Lloyd does fit the commodified queer label. He is incredibly personable, lovable and successful. Lloyd is openly gay but the show rarely touches on his sex life. Lloyd is basically there to be made fun of for being gay (Stempel, 2004).

The four main characters never reveal their beliefs. It can be assumed that the four men believe in Christianity based on their conversations, but they never attend church or talk about their religion. The main religion followed on the show is Judaism. Ari and his family are Jewish. The writers of the show are always playing with the Jewish stereotypes and Ari is always dealing with his Jewish faith as a successful Jewish agent. In E17S3 Ari has to sneak out of a Synagogue during Yom Kippur against his wife’s wishes to get a movie green lit.

All of the main characters are white with the exception of Lloyd who is Chinese American. Lloyd is constantly being berated by Ari for being gay as well as Asian. Ari is constantly saying racial slurs and playing on Asian stereotypes. The four men are constantly having sex with white women with the occasional black woman with white features such as E3S1 where E is seen eating dinner with a black woman with white features. The show is set in wealthy white communities in California and rarely talks about racial issues.

Able Bodied
All of the characters are ultra-healthy and able bodied. Johnny Drama serves as Vince’s trainer and while they never show them working out, Johnny is constantly talking about vitamins and supplements and new workouts for Vince to try. Vince is an A-list movie star and has the looks that fit an A-list movie star. Ari is an obsessive compulsive personality who is obsessed with his self-image. He is incredibly fit and works out often on the show. In E10S2 Ari is seen running home and takes a meeting in a shirt that is soaked in sweat leading the audience to believe that he had just finished an extreme workout.

Entourage is a male dominated show. The main characters are very ego driven and are constantly treating women as sexual objects. The show has filmed Vince sleeping with countless women and the group of friends is always talking about sleeping with women. The show itself always has gorgeous woman as extras as if to show that you can’t walk around Los Angeles unless you are a super model. The show is basically about four men partying and sleeping around. Ari’s wife and Vince’s publicist are basically the only two reoccurring women on the show.

Property Holding
Vincent Chase is a movie star. He has set himself and his friends up in a huge mansion with all the toys that one could ever want. He bought his friends matching Aston Martins after one of his movies did well in E5S3. They are constantly moving to bigger homes and making more money after movies. Money is no object on the show and Vince gets anything he wants, and he always takes care of his friends.

Entourage is constantly pushing the limits that television has set forth. The show is supposed to be a very light hearted comedy but can come off extremely offensive with its language. While the show is very offensive it is also extremely popular. It is constantly being nominated for Golden Globes and is about to embark on its 8th season and will end on their own accord. One must believe that the show is popular because of the close relation to the SCWAMP analysis. The show is based on four straight, Christian, white, able bodied, property owning men.

Stempel, L. (2004). Race/Gender/Media Considering Diversity across Audiences, Content, and Producers. Boston: Rebecca Ann Lind, Allyn & Bacon.

No comments:

Post a Comment