When it comes to promoting diversity and tolerance on TV, there are few shows today better at it than Glee. At least, that’s our opinion! Apparently, not everybody thinks so.
Cracked has published an article entitled “The 5 Most Bafflingly Racist Shows on TV Right Now,” and Glee actually ranks as the number four most offensive (with 2 Broke Girls topping the list). The article states that Glee’s characters — particularly the non-anglo ones — are given “intense stereotypes,” as if the writers didn’t take “time to look into or care about their cultures at all.” Strong words.
The article’s author — who admits to not being very familiar with Glee — argues that Glee gets away with making its characters stereotypical because it makes the stereotypes overt and thus seemingly acknowledged. However, Cracked feels that it’s still not acceptable to have “the awkward Jew with the afro; the black girl who always sings the big gospel notes; the gay kid with the great fashion sense; the overachieving Asian; the fiery, underprivileged Latina.”
To illustrate the point, the article cites Rachel’s storyline in which she considered a nose job in “Born This Way,” with Cracked finding the message of the episode to be: “You can be pretty, even as a Jew.” The article also takes umbrage with Mike’s dad’s obsession with grades in “Asian F,” and it even finds the name “Santana Lopez” to be insulting.
- “The two Asian characters on the show have the same last name.”
- “The Jew's last name is Ben Israel and he's as sexually deranged as Gladstone.”
- “The Latina cheerleader is actually named Santana Lopez, possibly because they had to cut Conchita Luisa Mexicasa out of the script.”
- “There's even actually an Irish exchange student who is immediately believed to be a leprechaun.”
So, what do you think? Do you agree that Glee’s characters are a tad stereotypical, or is this issue blown out of proportion?
Some might say that the satirical nature of a comedy show like Glee simply wouldn’t work without stereotypes. Or coming from a different angle, others could argue that Cracked hasn’t seen enough episodes of Glee to know the more nuanced elements to the characters. Where do you stand on this new Glee racism debate? Let us know!