Washington, Jul 7: While the piece written by Time Magazine's humour columnist Joel Stein sparked off an outrage in the Indian American community at large, one of the strongest attacks against the 'xenophobic' column came from actor and former Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, Kal Penn.
In the column titled 'My Own Private India', Stein wrote, “I never knew how a bunch of people half a world away chose a random town in New Jersey to populate. Were they from some Indian state that got made fun of by all the other Indian states and didn"t want to give up that feeling? Are the malls in India that bad? Did we accidentally keep numbering our parkway exits all the way to Mumbai?"
Retorting to this in his very own piece, Penn said, “I want to applaud Joel Stein for his hilarious account of Edison, New Jersey in his Time magazine article this week, 'My Own Private India"; it is unique and groundbreaking as Thomas Alva himself."
Titled 'The 'Hilarious" Xenophobia of Time"s Joel Stein', Penn's retaliatory strike against Stein's controversial column was published in Huffington Post.
“Critics might call M. Stein"s humor super-tired or as played out as the jokes about that cheap Jewish car that stopped on a dime to pick it up, or that African American kid who got marked absent at night school. Although unlike Stein"s Indian American piece, in 2010 those other jokes don"t show up in mainstream media like Time magazine. I wonder why that is…," Penn added.
With Stein's column insulting the large 'desi' community of the country, the prestigious Time magazine rendered an apology on Wednesday, Jul 7.
Kal Penn, whose real name is Kalpen Modi, is popular for his role in Mira Nair's 'The Namesake', besides the 'Harold and Kumar' movie series.
He worked in the White House"s Office of Public Liaison. Penn, who was among the long list of celebrities who backed Obama's 2008 electoral campaign, helped the US President connect with the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities while serving in the White House.