So while I was flipping through channels I stumbled upon the Metro PCS commercial featuring two male characters, Chad and Ranjit, who are obviously characters of South Asian descent.  They are portrayed as nerds who have thick Indian accents (because every Indian in America has a thick Indian accent) and who are supposedly knowledgeable experts about everything wireless and are entirely oblivious outside “their understanding” of technology.  Is this commercial supposed to portray the “typical Indian male” with a thick accent, wearing a patterned sweater vest and tie (because all Indian men wear sweater vest and a tie) with untrimmed mustaches, greasy hair, and big glasses, counseling a customer stuck in a cell phone contract?

Is this supposed to humorous towards outsourcing?  Because the individuals you speak with on the phone may have accents, but they certainly are not buffoons as depicted in this ad. Seriously, what audience goes and buys Metro PCS cell phones after watching this racist, stereotypical commercial, when there are much better ads from other companies, that actually address the benefits of buying their plan, rather than air this idiotic commercial that has absolutely nothing to do with the Metro PCS plan.

And of course, since the commercial features South Asian males lets bring out the South Asian female belly/bollywood dancers, since every South Asian female is known to belly dance ridiculously in traditional Indian attire. Oh, and lets not have these women accompanied alone, lets bring out a pointless old man dressed in Bavarian attire with lederhosen and long socks.

While some might say that these ads are humorous and all in good fun, I think this Metro PCS ad is racist, in that they depict characters of Indians based on stereotypes, in a way in which the only attraction and meaning of this ad is to point and say “look at the funny, nerdy Indian tech, who talks funny.” Some may say that Chad and Ranjit are just characters and are not an actual reference to the Indian race as a whole, but this is just another way of depicting racism through humor. In modern society, obvious racism clearly depicting an entire does not exist anymore. Instead, humor is used to depict members of a race to develop ludicrous characters based on stereotypes of that race.

 

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One response

  1. C.Wu says:

    I completely agree with you. The first time I saw this on TV I thought it was some skit from the late night shows. Aside from being racist it feels like they’re also trying to say that immigrants or less developed countries, in this case India, is taking all of our jobs because it is true that many large companies move their customer service to less developed countries. This may even encourage people to feel more rage toward immigrants especially when the economy is in turmoil.