I woke this morning to the news that the US television program Two Broke Girls decided to include a racist joke about Aboriginal Australians. During the episode And the Fun Factory, one character says
She’s part Aboriginal, but she has a great personality.
I’ve never found Two Broke Girls funny. I’ve probably seen one or two episodes over its four season run. And honestly, this kind of racist dialogue, the ‘oh-my-you-can’t-say-that’ racism, is not racism. Even if, as the writer and and the actor, you’re aware of the racism, it’s still racism.
In some texts, showing racism is very important. It can add to the dialogue, and can add to the story. I would argue that the racism demonstrated in programs like Two Broke Girls, only add to the narrative of racism. It doesn’t offer anything of value to the world at all.
Questions you might consider in looking at this case study:
- Does Two Broke Girls add to the cultural landscape?
- What examples of racism are identified in an average episode of Two Broke Girls?
- When looking at the context of the program – two key characters are White – is the racism perpetrated against People of Colour and/or Minorities acceptable?