Outsourcing comedy stereotyping Indians creates stir even before release

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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New York, Sep 22 (ANI): A soon-to-be-aired NBC's workplace comedy which apparently stereotypes Indians and makes fun of Americans who lost their jobs due to outsourcing has been creating uproar even before its debut.Outsourced' is a comedy about an Indian call centre and the bumbling American who runs it.

Political bloggers have already been criticizing the show for its satirical take on the issue of outsourcing.

"I'm completely incensed by a show that revolves around one of the primary reasons for mass unemployment in the US," read one of many angry posts on nbc.com.

"No amount of endearing these characters to us in a sitcom is going to make me forget that, either-even the idea of this show is reprehensible," it read.

However, the show's cast and producers are already defending themselves.

"We are certainly not making fun of the fact that so many people in this country are out of work or facing difficult times," the New York Post quoted how-runner Robert Burden as saying.

In the series, Todd Dempsey (played by Ben Rappaport) is transferred to India to train workers to take orders for a small Midwestern novelty company which has recently relocated its phone operations to Mumbai.

Along the way, he gets a crash course in sacrificial cows and arranged marriages while teaching his new staffers about America's fascination with the company's items like mistletoe and fake vomit.

There are plenty of one-liners about funny-sounding names, foreign accents and the after-effects of eating Indian food.

But at bottom, said one of the show's stars, Diedrich Bader, "the stereotypes are [generic] office stereotypes.

"There's the boy who wants to get laid, the assistant manager who wants to be manager-they're personalities everyone recognizes," Bader told a Hollywood columnist.

"The point is, the guy goes all the way to India and finds it's the same office, just stranger food," he added.

Executive producer Ken Kwapis insisted that instead being offended, one should find ways to get laughs out of cultural confusion that are not offensive.

"In this story, the cultural confusion is a two-way street," he says. "You know, the call-center workers don't understand or have misperceptions about American culture as much as vice versa." (ANI)

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