Is The Portrayal of Ravi On Disney Channel’s “Jessie” Racist, Unfunny, or Both?

I have written before about the character of Ravi on the Disney Channel’s Jessie show and talked about how some wonder why this Indian American character has to have an accent.  The reason why is apparent in this clip which makes Ravi’s Indian culture the entire joke. Not surprisingly, the clip has raised a stir in blogs like this and garnered many dislikes (I can see why Disney turned off comments). Some people don’t think it is so bad, but then again, others react to lines like “I am a human samosa” (not in this clip but in other episodes).  What do you all think?  Is the portrayal racist, unfunny, both, or neither?

Number Two Son’s reactions to the clip was that it was “culturally ignorant.”  He no longer watches the Disney Channel.  My personal take is that it is both racist and unfunny.  Even Baljit’s portrayal on Phineas and Ferb is better than this, as it is funny most of the time and doesn’t drive all of its humor out of weird versions of Indian culture.  There is a chance that Jessie“can get better and more nuanced in how it treats Ravi, but I’m not holding my breath.

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About Jeff

Jeff lives in Silicon Valley, and attempts to juggle marriage, fatherhood, computer systems research, running, and writing.
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