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The Top 10 Most Offensive Lines in ‘Outsourced’

Aymar Jean Christian September 23, 2010 uncategorized 5 Comments

Thanks to The Atlantic for linking, and Les Inrocks too!

UPDATE: The second episode, “The Measure of a Manmeet,” was more tame. Some lines were questionable, like: “This isn’t an elk. These are my employees,” in reference to which Indian employee the boss should fire, and this exchange:

Todd Dempsey: “That’s kind of demeaning. You should at least learn their names.”
Charlie Davies
: “No, they’re into it.”

But in general it seems like the show is becoming more of a generic workplace comedy. However, I will not be watching, as I have too much TV to watch anyway!

ORIGINAL: So as you know it’s premiere week, and mostly it’s no big deal. Still one of the more buzzed about shows was Outsourced, about an American guy whose “knick knack” company outsources its call center to India, and he has to go manage the new team.

The buzz on Outsourced was mostly that it was offensive and would be swiftly canceled. (UPDATE: Its ratings, thanks to an Office lead-in, were pretty good). Now that I’ve seen it, I can say it’s not as bad as I thought, though clearly a little problematic. There is, of course, the premise: “white guy goes to India to lead, train and acculturate them!” But let’s be real, that happens and is encouraged by corporations every day. Beyond that, we get a lot of jokes about India from the America perspective, and jokes from Indians about America, but we don’t learn much about India itself.

But I expected worse.

Anyway! I collected what would be considered the most offensive lines. Judge for yourself — completely out of context!

10. White guy Charlie Davies on white guy Todd Dempsey‘s new team of workers: “Looks like you got the B team. I bet they don’t know squat about America. I wouldn’t unpack if I were you.”

9. White guy Todd Dempsey in the streets of Mumbai for the first time: “It’s like Frogger but with real people!”

8. At the cafeteria, which is full of Indians: “Creepy isn’t it? It’s like they’re pod people or something.”

7. “Your name is man meat?” It’s Manmeet.

6. At the sight of a cow: “Well, I guess you don’t have to go far for the creamer.”

5. “As far as I’m concerned you’re not a superpower until you’ve’ got a cheese named after you.”

4. “Aren’t all the workers here kind of the same?”

3. “In the meantime, I’m not sure what religion you guys are, but this is your new Bible.” It’s the company catalogue.

2. “You guys have got some pretty crazy looking hats yourselves….mostly on the women though.”

1. NBC to viewers: “Watching Outsourced online is one of our sacred customs!”

Here’s the episode.

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About The Author

Aymar Jean Christian is assistant professor of communication at Northwestern University. He writes about media and society for a number of publications. For more information, click the "About" tab at the top of the page.

5 Comments

  1. Johnny October 2, 2010 at 1:04 am

    lol@ “Creepy isn’t it? It’s like they’re pod people or something.”

    Now that is the real talk there!

    Are pod people good art packing it up, at least the ones that run the company?

    *lol*

  2. Deepa October 20, 2010 at 10:56 pm

    Yikes. This show is troubling to say the least.
    If it were a show about Black people and their culture, it’d be canned faster than you could say “dats ratchet”.

    Can it NBC, before you dig yourself into a grave so deep you can’t escape.

  3. Jahan Chandragupta February 6, 2011 at 10:04 am

    what kuind of article is this?????? i am indian, and this show is not offensive at ALL. it clearly shows what india is really like. just because americans make a joke out of it doesnt make it offensive, it makes it funny. and half of these “offensive” lines cud be sed in america beause it may not only apply to indians. this is a great show and its idiots like YOU who will get it cancelled. so shut up, live with it, and learn REAL comedy. and its ur choice. dont go to india then.

  4. Nikhil February 16, 2011 at 1:58 am

    Ditto above. I’m an Indian living here, and those jokes aren’t offensive. People need to lighten up.

  5. Brendan May 23, 2011 at 2:56 am

    What are you guys going on about? I’m an Indian. This show is definitely not offensive. It is how things are over here.

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