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Editorial: Joke about 'drunk Indians' an insult to all Native people

Filed Under: Arts & Entertainment | Opinion
More on: arizona, navajo, racism, stereotypes, television

The Santa Fe New Mexican criticizes the Mike & Molly show for perpetuating stereotypes about Native people:
Words matter. And telling a joke is no excuse to use words in a hateful, racist way — so despite the blowback these days against so-called “political correctness,” we are glad to see Arizona tribes reacting strongly to a bad, dumb joke on the CBS comedy Mike & Molly.

The network should not only apologize, it and other purveyors of entertainment must make a broader effort to show the lives of Native people. Or, perhaps we should say, make any effort, since to date, American Indians are about the most invisible people in prime time. That’s why it’s so damaging that one of the few mentions they have received is a stereotype. The joke, told on Feb. 25 on the Monday night show, went this way. Melissa McCarthy’s character, Molly, thought her mother-in-law, Ruth (Rondi Reed) was moving to Arizona.

Molly: “How soon are you kids moving to Arizona? I could help you throw some stuff in boxes tonight.”

Ruth: “What are you talking about? Who the hell said I’m moving to Arizona? You ever been to Arizona? It’s just a furnace full of drunk Indians.”

Get the Story:
Editorial: Show 'joke' insults Native people (The Santa Fe New Mexican 3/7)

Related Stories:
Navajo Nation demands apology for joke about 'drunk Indians' (3/5)

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