Scene Detail

"We both have to deal with how things look and the message they're sending. And if you don't like the way that smells, then I'm sorry, but that's just how it is."

From: The West Wing - Friends of the Groom
2 Characters
Gender Age Character Name
Female 40s C.J. CREGG
Male 30s SAM SEABORN
 
Setup:
C.J. Cregg is the Press Secretary for the President of the United States. Her younger brother Nathan has just invited her and the entire White House staff to the wedding ceremony for him and his lover Paul. CJ was told by the Chief of Staff that she can't attend. During that meeting, Sam Seaborn, the Deputy Communications, also chimed in, saying "The religious right would have a field day" with the event. Nathan also has a habit of flirting with Sam, just to rattle him, which Sam doesn't appreciate.

CJ supported Sam recently, when it was discovered that Laurie, a law student he was seeing socially, also happened to be working her way through school not only as a bartender, but as a call girl. In arguing his case, Sam had said to CJ the White House staff should "spend a little less time trying to look good and a lot more time trying to do good."
 

Scene

INT. SAM'S OFFICE - DAY

CJ comes to the door. Sam looks up from the work on his desk.


SAM

Here to talk about Echelon?

CJ

Actually, I've discovered something I'm a little more concerned about.

SAM

More concerning than the U.S. intelligence community spying on civilians without any legal safeguards?

CJ

Yes.

SAM

'Cause I'd be pretty concerned about that.

CJ

And I am.

SAM

But there's something even more worrisome?

CJ

Yes.

SAM

And that would be -- ?

CJ

The stench of hypocrisy coming from your office.

SAM

OK, it's going to be one of those conversations.

She shuts the door.


CJ

"The religious right would have a field day"?

SAM

You're claiming they won't?

CJ

This from a man who not all that long ago told me we should spend a little less time trying to look good and a lot more time trying to do good. You remember that, Sam?

SAM

Yes.

CJ

You think befriending a prostitute--

SAM

Call girl.

CJ

It's illegal everywhere but Nevada no matter what you call her.

SAM

What your brother and his partner do is still illegal in 18 states and Puerto Rico.

CJ

Well that means they still beat your girlfriend by 32 states plus the District of Columbia. You can keep the island.

SAM

She's also a bartender and law student.

CJ

It's touching you have her resume memorized. Got her price list up there, too?

SAM

I think you should make your point and leave my office.

CJ

Why is my brother's wedding more of an embarrassment than your little friend?

SAM

For starters, I'm trying, despite everyone else's efforts to make a big deal out of my friendship with Laurie, to do this quietly. Your brother's supposedly personal event, on the other hand, is turning into a media circus and he'd be happy to drag us all into the center ring with him.

CJ

And -- ?

SAM

That's not enough?

CJ

You said, "for starters."

SAM

Figure of speech.

CJ

What else?

SAM

Your brother's not exactly the best spokesperson for the gay community.

CJ

Just because he flirts with you?

SAM

Would you appreciate it if a man you weren't attracted to kept coming on to you?

CJ

It's not the same thing.

SAM

Sure it is.

CJ

He's not coming on to you. He's been in a committed relationship almost seven years.

SAM

He's not acting like it.

CJ

So play along. Throw it back at him. He'll lose interest.

SAM

If you were being sexually harassed--

CJ

Sexually harassed?

SAM

-- that's the advice you'd want us to offer? Play along, give him what he wants.

CJ

I just expected better, Sam. I expected a little support.

SAM

C.J., I hardly know your brother.

CJ

For me, Sam. I expected you to support me.

SAM

We both have to deal with how things look and the message they're sending. And if you don't like the way that smells, then I'm sorry, but that's just how it is.

CJ

Yeah.

SAM

I am sorry. If that counts for anything.

CJ

Me, too.

© Matthew A Everett
matthewaeverett.com