The Corner

Obama Ads Aired During ‘Racist’ Sitcom

Yahoo News’ Chris Wilson reports that the show whose political advertising skews most Republican is The Andy Griffith Show. For Democrats, it’s a show a smidgen less wholesome:

“2 Broke Girls” swung the most heavily to the Democrats—surprising, perhaps, given that the title evokes Mitt Romney’s message that the economy is floundering under President Barack Obama’s stewardship. (It is not surprising if you consider the subject: single women.) “Judge Joe Brown” came in second.

In total, the Obama campaign and Democrats have made 60 ad buys on 2 Broke Girls, per Yahoo. That’s  not as much as other shows: the Obama campaign and Democrat groups have made 145 ad buys on The Big Bang Theory, for instance. And the Romney campaign and a Republican group have made two ad buys on the show.

Still, 2 Broke Girls is an interesting choice of programs for the Obama campaign to extensively advertise on, since it’s widely been criticized as racist. From Salon TV writer Willa Paskin

[T]he show has failed to live up to its potential in almost every particular. The extremely crass jokes and broad, stereotypical racial humor that characterized the show’s early episodes have, if anything, increased over the series’ run. It now plays like a broken record, scratch-scratching in a deep groove of profanity, distasteful ethnic humor and character non-development. 

From The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum’s review last year:

There’s plenty to dislike about “2 Broke Girls,” especially the ensemble, which is conceived in terms so racist it is less offensive than baffling. The girls’ Korean boss, Han (Bryce) Lee, talks funny, is short and sexless, and wants to be hip; the black cashier is played by Garrett Morris, who should sue for the limp gags he’s fed; and the horny Eastern European cook has punch lines such as “Once you go Ukraine, you will scream with sex-pain.”

TV Guide reported at the beginning of this year that 2 Broke Girls creator Michael Patrick King was asked about show’s perceived racist attitudes during a press conference:

Michael Patrick King wants to make something clear: 2 Broke Girls is not a racist show. …

The 2 Broke Girls creator met with reporters at CBS’ winter TV previews Wednesday, during which he was asked to defend the show’s ethnic stereotypes and off-color humor, particularly in scenes involving the characters with whom down-on-their luck waitresses (Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs) work at a Brooklyn diner.

“I find it comic to take everybody down,” King says. “I think that our show is a big ballsy comedy, but it has a bigger heart than it has balls. It is broad and brash and very current… The big story about race on our show is that so many are represented. We sort of represent what New York used to be, which is currently still alive in [Brooklyn].”

Han, the girls’ Asian boss (Matthew Moy), Oleg, a sexually aggressive Ukrainian line cook, (Jonathan Kite) and Earl, a laid-back African American cashier (Garrett Morris) are all regular targets of jokes that focus on their ethnicities. King defends these characters. “If you talk about stereotypes, every character, when it’s born, is a stereotype. This show started with two stereotypes: a blonde and a brunette. Hopefully if you have the journey that everybody would like to have on a series, which is time, you get to shape the characters so they become rounded and a little bit more grounded.”

The Obama campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Katrina TrinkoKatrina Trinko is a political reporter for National Review. Trinko is also a member of USA TODAY’S Board of Contributors, and her work has been published in various media outlets ...


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