Friday, February 20, 2015

The Joke on Two Broke Girls

I'm trying to understand the controversial joke that was recently on Two Broke Girls.  It's kind of hard for me, because I don't watch the show. But I'm going to make some guesses.

In the scene, an Asian guy is upset because he can't find his iPad. He needs it to continue his casual romance with a woman in Australia. He then says, She's Aboriginal Australian, but she has a great personality. 

From what I've seen online, people are interpreting it to mean that Aboriginal Australians are ugly. Of course, if the joke is saying that...it's very offensive. And that might be the case. Maybe that's what the writers of the show were going for.

But I'm seriously doubting it.

I don't think there's a common shared opinion in America about the appearance of Aboriginal Australians.  So I'm not sure why anyone make such a joke.

My guess is the joke was more about the victim becoming the perpetrator. A group that DOES get a lot of racism and de-sexualization in America is Asian males. From some Tweets I've seen, I'm getting the idea that the Asian guy on the show is often the butt of racial jokes. So I'm guessing the show was showing how we can hate when something is done to us, but then we go ahead and do it to others.

Was the joke a racist joke or a joke against racism? I'm hoping it was going for the latter. But I can't tell, because I watched it out of context.

I just found this article, which makes me think it's NOT the latter. It talks about how the show is anti-Asian.

I don't know. Some shows playfully poke fun at many groups of people. But other shows are not so innocent.

It reminds me of being in sixth grade. The people are the lunch table start teasing you. You can't tell if they're laughing with you or at you. Should you laugh along or storm away and sit at another table?

Out of all the Tweets I've seen this morning about Two Broke Girls, the one I found most compelling is from a guy who calls himself JTZ.  He says, To all those who are outraged by the 2 broke girls let me ask you this, are you okie with the racism directed at the Asian man.  He also Tweets to Kevin Rudd, who has spoken out against the joke.  hey @MrKRudd, you do know that #2brokegirls has always made fun of the Asian man in a racist manner. So why now do you only take offence?

I'm sure many people are like me—talking about a show they never watched. But are there people who were fans of the show before the Aboriginal joke? Were there people who laughed at jokes against Asians, but then got angry when another group was targeted?  If there are people like that, I think they should feel a bit hypocritical, conflicted, and ashamed. At least...that's how I'd probably feel in such a situation.