Is 'Glee' Racist?


gleeWe know Glee is gay, but are they racist?

Up front, they probably have one of the most diverse casts possible, and considering they're at a high school in small-town Ohio, that in itself is quite a stretch. You have white kids, African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, throw in a kid in a wheelchair just to cover all the bases.

But while watching last night's episode, I noticed a lot of racist flags being thrown ...

The example that set off my racism alarm was when they were introducing Charice Pempengco's character and Rachel was talking, no screaming, to her in the bathroom as if she couldn't speak English. And being Asian I guess means you're deaf as well?

Then there was the Asian camp filled with little tech geeks.

And how about when Tina Cohen-Chang and Mike Chang (gah, the writers couldn't even come up with another Asian last name?) are accused of dating -- "What? Because we're Asian?"


Are they doing it as a self-aware racist -- as in, purposefully being racist just to show how stupid racism is? My inner gleek would like to think so, and I'm going to assume so from here on out because, well, frankly, I love the show too damn much.

Perhaps the effect that it has on people is based on their perception of it. Do I think stereotype jokes are funny? Sure. I think it's hilarious when my black friends make a "dumb white girl" reference, and when my Spanish friends make a cheap Jew joke to our Jewish buddy. We all laugh. But that's because none of us are racist whatsoever.

So I will continue laughing at the jokes on Glee because, though they may be racist, they're at least purposefully so.

What do you think? Is Glee racist?


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Roses... Rosesandlilys

I have never heard such garbage. Is EVERYTHING racist today? Absolutely ludicris.

Jaci Miller

Really? I think you are reading WAY to much into this show. Rachel was yelling because, well, she's totally self absorbed and didn't want to take the time to find out if the new girl could speak English or anything else about her. I personally didn't notice any racism, does that make me a racist?

cafemama cafemama

I don't think it's racist. I do think it relies heavily on stereotypes based on race, gender, high school clique, etc.

vicesix vicesix

Yeah, everything is racist...if you're looking for racism everywhere. Sheesh.

kelli... kelli0585

I think it's all tongue-in-cheek.  The show is so bizarrely and purposely over exageratted that the racial stereotypes naturally come into play as well.

Santana is a firey Latina.

Brittany is a dumb blonde.

The kid from the AV club has a "Jew Fro."

Jew jokes galore.

Mercedes being a big, black girl deals with those stereotypes.

The Asian references that you mentioned.

It's all part of the show. 

knfisch knfisch

I don't think it is at all racist! I think the writers just make fun of stereotypes. And her yelling at the new kid was because she knew the girl was an exchange student and figured she didn't speak English. I have a feeling that they would've thrown that it no matter where the girl was from. It's more comedic. Every character has to deal with the stereotypes of their race/gender/religion/sexual orientation/handicaps. It's just part of the show, stop trying to read into things so darn much!! 

Jenni... JenniferDawyn

I thought that Rachel was yelling at her because she thought the girl didn't speak english.  I've noticed that when people have a language barrier, they end up speaking very loudly (and slowly) for some reason.  (Although I don't think that speaking louder and slower makes the barrier disappear - perhaps I am mistaken?  ;-)

Cécile Farmer

GLEE may not be racist - but they, as part of a huge television network, do what sells: "I think the writers just make fun of stereotypes." -knfisch

Perpetuating these stereotypes, in my opinion, is a type of racism or at least ignorance. If anyone wants to make progressive change in the way we as a media-consuming population, we have to make an effort to produce and consume media that does not perpetuate degrading stereotypes.

Rosendo Villa

I'm an Asian, but for me the writer did a pretty well job makin' scripts. About in Rachel's yellin'? There is nothin' racist she say to Sunshine. I see Rachel reaction and the way she move, she does'nt like Sunshine maybe because Sunshine will take her solo in the Glee Club. And Rachel wants Sunshine to be a back-up singer.

nonmember avatar Jenny

smh at some of these comments. of course those saying "it's not racist!!" are white.

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