I'm still waiting, however, for the media and entertainment industries to fully escape their stereotypes of "true" Pittsburgh. Rob Owen wrote this in today's coverage of "Three Rivers," a coming medical drama:
... Pittsburghers ... often wonder why characters on Pittsburgh-set series never evince a Yinzer accent. Barbee said a scene was shot for the "Three Rivers" pilot using a local actor that got cut.
"There's a scene where Andy is paged to come to the ER and there's a guy from the neighborhood -- Eddie, a working-class guy -- who got in a bar fight and figured if he asked for Andy he'd get seen sooner," Barbee recalled. "It was a wonderful scene that gave a sense of Andy's connection to Pittsburgh and this one neighborhood. We cast a guy from Pittsburgh and he did the whole Yinzer accent and he was hilarious, doing the whole Yinzer thing. But once we got into editing we found it slowed the pilot down."
I don't wonder that. Do you? Count me as a Pittsburgher (of course, not a native Pittsburgher) who doesn't need to hear a Yinzer accent in order to validate something or someone as "true" Pittsburgh. Who can do without the images of molten steel that so often illustrate Steelers football on Monday night television. Who is thrilled that the "true" Pittsburgh that will be represented at September's G-20 summit includes the Andy Warhol Museum and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. I hear a Yinzer accent and I think "Pittsburgh," but I'm certainly capable of thinking "Pittsburgh" without hearing a Yinzer accent. I trust that Tom Sokolowski and Richard Piacentini and their institutions will be tremendous ambassadors for today's Pittsburgh -- with no Yinzer accent as part of the package.