If you’ve done any retail shopping, you more than likely have been inundated with corporations asking for donations, “rounding up” for charity, etc. It’s a charitable scam under the guise of corporate gift-giving: those donations made are oftentimes not matched by the company AND they’re able to write them off on their non-existent corporate taxes. Last week’s Superstore explores the games that corporations play when it comes to “giving back.”
As the team is settling in to having new leadership with tech conglomerate Zephra, they are tasked with handing out care packages to a local women’s shelter. The jig is already up when Jonah spills the beans that Amy solicited local businesses to fill gift bags for marginalized women and Zephra paid for nothing but the tote bags. It’s a clear PR stunt, with Amy doing the heavy lifting and the company taking all the credit.
As the event is in full swing-and Amy is being profiled by Zephra’s communication’s strategist-Glenn does the most Glenn thing and gives the gift bags (valued at $500 each) to his coworkers. Starting with Cheyenne, the bumbling floor supervisor takes it upon himself to be a giving angel…while giving things that don’t belong to him. It’s a disaster when 20 bags end up missing and Jeff (Mateo’s ex-boyfriend) is blamed. After sabotaging Amy’s interview profile, Jeff’s revenge was to…break wind in Amy’s office. It’s typical Jeff and typical Cloud 9.
With the missing bags in Cloud 9 employees’ hands, the next busload of women get bags with loose grapes and duct tape. It’s a bad look on so many levels but the strategist is able to spin it as teammates helping teammates. When Amy mentions that it could misconstrued by the public as Zephra being a bad company to work for, the PR pro says “nobody will connect the dots.” It’s a sneaky and telling indictment on corporations like Walmart and Amazon whose employees consistently use food banks and other charitable contributions to subsidize their paltry paychecks. The Superstore writers are going there and we love to see it.
With the great news that Superstore was renewed for season 6 the bottom fell out with the statement from star America Ferrera that she was leaving after season 5. Such is the gift of her comedic timing and acting ability, that I have a hard time imagining the show without her. We’ll see if the fans feel the same next year.
Catch Superstore Thursdays at 8PM on NBC and streaming on Hulu.