2 Broke Girls has come under fire for a few things; from its overtly sexual references, to its often uninformed take on life in Brooklyn, to its potentially racist band of characters at the diner where Kat Dennings’ and Beth Behrs’ characters earn their dough the popular series finds itself in hot water with more than a few folks, despite its killer ratings. So, when showrunner Michael Patrick King, Dennings, and Behrs took the stage at the Television Critics Association press tour, you’d think they’d be prepared for a biting question or two, but the event played out as if they’d never seen a blog post about the series in their lives. King took a special dislike to the questions, responding with anger or defiance instead of the expected diplomacy of a showrunner.
When reporters began to ask about adding depth to characters such as Han and Oleg due to the rampant criticisms that their roles are riddled with racist jokes and gags, King defended the jokes and the characters, saying “”If you talk about stereotypes, every character, when it’s born, is a stereotype: A blonde and a brunette, which has certain stigmas as well, which we’ve tried to defuse and grow.” He then went on to say that the characters aren’t one-note and that 21 minutes of airtime is limiting for expanding secondary characters.
King also defended Han’s character specifically, saying “I believe Matthew Moy (who plays Han) is almost a unique being unto himself. Would you say that the blonde rich bitch is a stereotype?” and later adding, “I’m gay! I’m putting in gay stereotypes every week! I don’t find it offensive, any of this. I find it comic to take everybody down, which is what we are doing.” The situation continued to escalate from there, prompting King to ask a reporter if he was Irish, and when he said “Yes,” King replied “So, we’ve identified your sexual problem.” He ended by commenting that he was surprised the questions weren’t “about fun” putting a cap on what must have been an incredibly awkward panel.
While most of us have no trouble seeing what’s so offensive about many of the racial stereotypes and jokes proliferated on the hit show – most of which detract from the parts we actually love – it seems we must accept that they are here to stay. King’s remarks signal that he has no intention of making changes to the series, and I’ll bet as long as those audiences keep coming in at over 11 million an episode, CBS isn’t going to push all that hard for him to fix those issues either.
Do you think 2 Broke Girls is racist or relies too heaily on racial stereotypes? Or do you agree with King? Let us know in the comments or find me on Twitter! (@KelseaStahler).