’2 Broke Girls’ Creator’s Bizarre Way of Defending Ethnic Stereotypes: More Stereotypes
Queried about whether CBS has asked him to expand characters, he asks a reporter about his own ethnicity — and then insults it
(Editor's note: Your humble correspondent doesn't like inserting himself into stories that have nothing to do with him, but the creator of "2 Broke Girls" pulled him into this one. So apologies.)
"2 Broke Girls" creator Michael Patrick King has a unique way of addressing complaints that his show propagates ethnic stereotypes: By using more ethnic stereotypes.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour, CBS entertainment president Nina Tassler said Wednesday that CBS has asked King to "continue to dimensionalize, continue to get more specific, continue to build them out," referring to ethnic characters in "2 Broke Girls" that some critics have derided as stereotypical.
TheWrap asked King if he could confirm as much, to which he initially said, "You're asking me if I was asked by Nina to change the show to make the characters more dimensional? No. The characters are dimensional, and they're seen in segments of 21 minutes, which limits the amount of dimension you can see."
Because his comment seemed to contradict Tassler's, we asked him to clarify if anyone at CBS had asked him to add dimension to characters. He then explained, contradicting himself: "Nina has always said dimensionalize the characters."
But, frustrated with our repeated effors to get him to clarify what he had or had not been asked to do, he also asked your humble correspondent his name. Noting that it was Irish, he asked, "So, you're Irish? … So we've identified your sexual problem."
"Girls" has primarily come under criticism for the Korean immigrant character Han Lee (above). King said Wednesday that the last three episodes of the show have included jokes about Han being short, but no jokes about him being Asian. He also said he makes jokes about all types of people:
"I'm gay. I'm putting in gay stereotypes every week," he said. "I find it comic to take everybody down."
If you don't watch the show, meet Han: