‘I Feel Bad’ Continues the Whitewashing of Asian Cultures

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I Feel Bad made me feel awful as yet another show takes an ethnic character, marries her off to an Anglo-Saxon husband and whitewashes the kids, while making fun of our immigrant parents.

Are the ethnic jokes like having shoes thrown at you or Emet’s (star, Sarayu Blue) mother, Maya (Madhur Jaffrey) claiming her daughter house isn’t clean enough, funny? Yes, because at times the stereotypes are painfully accurate.

Unlike Black-ish, which has masterfully been able to tell stories of finding a balance between where you’ve come from to where you’ve arrived, or Fresh Off the Boat, which allows the immigrant characters to be immigrants integrating into American society, I Feel Bad, takes all those traits and tells the audience to be ashamed of your roots because, “White is right and your immigrant parents are backwards.”

If not for Jaffrey and Brian George who plays her husband Sonny, I would have changed the channel 35 seconds into the pilot.

Sadly, even Emet’s millennial game designer co-workers and brain trust are nothing more than stereotypical beta male geeks that lack social skills.  Everything that was endearing about The Big Bang Theory in 2009 is now cringe worthy.

The worst of the worst, is the sexualization of the tween kids dance scene. Yes, it addresses the issue, but we didn’t need to watch four-minutes of children dry humping to get to that point.

I wish Aseem Batra all the success in the world and yes, it’s great to see someone else who’s ancestry from Continental Asia is getting a shake in the American entertainment industry, but what I don’t like is seeing our immigrant parents being turned into the butt of every single joke or as a point of resentment for not being White enough in the Western World.

This isn’t some Social Justice Warrior bulls**t on my end. I am both worlds’ worst nightmare, I’m the Middle Eastern guy who can pass for White. So, White people felt free to use their racist code words around me and Middle Eastern people were more nasty because they thought I couldn’t understand them. What I hope everyone learns is that Asia gave the world civilization, while the West was conquered by it, not the other way around.

I Feel Bad airs at 9:30 p.m. on Thursdays on NBC.

I Feel Bad is Awful
  • Overall Score


I Feel Bad is nothing more than whitewashing Asian cultures while making our immigrant parents the butt of every joke. Sure, there is a little bit of an awakening by the end of the pilot, however, I am not amused…but I will give it two more episodes before I fully dismiss it.


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