Posted in: TV

‘Mike & Molly’ Indian Joke Angers Navajo Nation

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Did Mike & Molly‘s Indian joke cross the line?

The sitcom referred to Native Americans as “drunk Indians” during an episode that aired last week. The joke caused a bit of a controversy for the CBS show as a spokesman for the Navajo Nation has demanded an apology from the network.

Spokesperson Erny Zah said:

“It’s offensive, it’s derogatory, it’s deplorable. Ignorance is one thing, but this must have passed through a lot of eyes before it appeared on a network show … An apology would be appropriate but it can’t fix the damage done.”

According to ABC, the joke occurred after Mike’s mother Peggy was asked about moving to Arizona.

Peggy, who is played by Rondi Reed, replied:

“Arizona? Why would I move to Arizona? It’s nothing but a furnace full of drunk Indians.”

According to Oregon Live, Arizona is home to 21 Indian tribes. Alcohol is illegal on several reservations, but it is also easily obtained in neighboring towns.

Zah said:

“Alcoholism is a real issue on our reservations and it’s not funny … You can see somebody who is drunk and tripping over themselves and it’s easy to make fun of them … But the disease itself isn’t funny, the coming home late at night, possibly beating on family members, the absence of family members, the fear it instills in a lot of children.”

The Native American Journalists Association also called on CBS to apologize. The NAJA

NAJA President Rhonda LeValdo said:

“I think a lot of times people make excuses for when they do those type of jokes or sarcasm … To me, it’s not funny making fun of a minority group. Are we supposed to be the entertainment for mainstream?”

The Mike & Molly Indian joke isn’t available online at the moment, but here’s a clip from the show that features a joke about castration.

CBS hasn’t commented on the joke yet.

Do you think the network should apologize for the Indian joke? Do you think it was offensive?

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68 Responses to “‘Mike & Molly’ Indian Joke Angers Navajo Nation”

  1. Ray Workman

    Its funny, I watched that show and it went right over my head. Now I agree with our Native American Brothers and Sisters. Shame on the network!

  2. Ray Workman

    Its funny, I watched that show and it went right over my head. Now I agree with our Native American Brothers and Sisters. Shame on the network!

  3. Corey Jahn

    so they acknowledged it was problem but don't want people to mention it in jokes… I'm white and can't jump, but people still joke about that all the time.

  4. Anonymous

    Really people! how many times do you here redneck jokes or hill billy jokes? you don't see me getting upset about it? people have become way to sensitive these days. youcant say or do anything that might hint that you are agiant a certain race without them calling foul! chill out people! its just a joke!

  5. Anonymous

    Yes, I do think it is offensive, the native Americans of any tribe have enough to deal with.

  6. Benji Jacobson

    It is offensive and why or how did it get even past people supposedly screening the what is said public shows like this!

  7. Mike Pulliam

    You can't say anything without offending someone…I'm of Hispanic heritage and I don't get my pantalones in a bunch whenever someone makes a Mexican joke! lighten up and grow a thicker skin people!

  8. Anonymous

    do your research and find out what ALL they have to deal with! they get money from the government every month, they get unlimited hunting rights, they get special grants and government assistance! oh yeah, they have alot to deal with! lol! Dont you think that people bring things onto themselves or are you the kind of person that believes its always someone elses fault?

  9. Joseph Blowenstein

    These 2 FAT PIGS didn't write the joke. The joke was written by a bunch of HOOK NOSE JEWBAG writers. It's typical for CHRIST KILLING HOLLYWOOD JEWBAGS to mock EVERYBODY…Just don't dare to say 1 negative word about JEWS or ISRAEL…It's time to call out the HOOK NOSE CHRIST KILLERS!

  10. Scott Patrick Mulhern

    Ok, native american's really need to stop taking things to bloody serious. Drunk….yes, they are, so are Irish that I am, 6% percent Native myself, so yes I am, Germans, yup, I am that too……we are all DRUNK in this world. Unfortunately, there is alcohol abuse in all races. SO BUCK UP and be a Race about it. Getting pissed is not accepting accountability for it. Quit bitching and do something about it. Ridiculous how people have become, same with Native American sports names……..omg………soooooo what. Native Americans look at like it so insulting. Its not. Stop turning negatives and turn to positives. Without those names you may be forgotten you exist. How bout The Notre Damn Fighting Irish, ha, you don't hear them bitchin about it. GET A LIFE!

  11. Vance Byram

    good thing they didn't say "drunk Irish", there'd been a lot mad Catholics, New Yorkers, Bostonians and Leprechauns.

  12. Anonymous

    People just need to lighten up…. If everyone gets too afraid someone will be miffed about something, TV will just turn into people sitting there silently looking at the camera.

  13. Curtis Fleming

    Sounds like the Native Americans are just a little to sensitive. You need to be more Indian skinned. Toughen up!

  14. Mike Holmes

    Nava……… Ho! The tribe that never learned to laugh. I'm 1/8th Cherokee, still white and southern, and I do not whine when someone makes an Indian joke or a white joke. I had nothing against the Navajo nation until I heard that the douche that they made chief had a problem with comedy. F.u. Retard. Take a joke, learn to laugh and stop being a douchy McDoucherson. I'm sure all the Navajo people are not douches, but find someone new to speak for you, because this retard is making you all look like douches.

    Duuuurrrrr…. I can't take a joke… durrrrrr, Seriously, kill yourself or have someone take your life for you ya loser. It is a joke, not serious, but a joke… do you understand? Nava No? Well then f. off. Quit your whining, you are making your people sound like a bunch of beeyotches.

  15. Ed Schon

    Maybe they could make jokes about the insecurity and emotional problems of sloppy fat people.

  16. Joseph Blowenstein

    Why are u whining about what should or shouldn't insult other people…BITCH!! What insults natives is NONE OF YOUR PHUCKING BUSINESS!! You're obviously a STUPID LOW RENT REPUBLICAN. I bet your daughter is as SIMPLEMINDED as you,which of course makes her just another BLOND CUMDUMPSTER WHORE!!

  17. Mike Holmes

    … and seriously, "An apology would be appropriate but it can’t fix the damage done." I will apologize personally for the joke that offended you if you apologize for whining about insignificant b.s. and wasting my time listening to your whining. Pick your battles. Whining about some offshoot joke that you think offended your people and saying the damage is done and can't be made up for just shows the world how small minded and idiotic you are.

    Here, I will do the apology for both of us. I am sorry that the joke that you somehow made in your small simpleton mind came across as offending you. I accept your apology of being so insignificant and stupid that this random joke was enough for you to try and make it about you and your people and the rest of the world to try and be forced to see this as a way to get attention and whine about being a minority.

    Seriously, this is like reverse discrimination at its worst. Grow up, learn to take a joke, and stop finding reasons to whine in order to get handouts. If anyone cared about your situation, they now care even less about it because you are making your people look like a bunch of whiny 8 year old girls….and yes, I'll grow up when you do. That time for you is obviously not now, so I am just telling it like it is.

  18. Rain Wolftalker

    I'm half Irish and Native but it seams to me that if your REALLY tired of being a drunk you woul dget off your ass and live your life. Stop making excuses and complaining about life. No one forces you to abuse you do it because your to weak to live your life. Everyone jokes about someone or something that will always upset someone. I don't like being placed in a class but that is my problem,, It is FREEDOM of SPEACH, and that is why others make jokes on others. If we lost that along with our gun rights where does that leave us? Women will walk 5 paces behind men? Not speak unless spoken to? Grow up and live instead of looking for a law suit.

  19. Mike Holmes

    I am sure that the larger percentage of Navajo people have no problem with anything said on the "Mike and Molly" show, and I'm sure that they agree that the douchbag that whined about this is not part of their culture. The < 10% is making you look bad, and it isn't your fault, but you should come together as a tribe and deal with this douche.

  20. Michael Klopfenstein

    I read Erny Zah's statement in John Redcorn's voice..

  21. James Johnson

    Ok, this is one joke…I cannot remember the last Native American joke I heard or saw on TV. BTW as a white person involved with 1st Nations people…I have been the butt of many jokes by Native Americans. It goes both ways….one more thing, I LOVE my Aleut daughter and all my 1st Nations friends.

  22. Kristopher Schroder

    Yes I think is offensive, & as a Member of AA, I am fully aware of the progress & Detructive Nature of he disease!

  23. Kristopher Schroder

    Yes it is Offensive! & I'm fully Aware of the Progression & Destructive nature Of the Disease! Not funny!

  24. Al Perfetti

    disease? no behavior? yes…for all you disease model people, tell me what bacterium causes this disease, or how it grows in the body like other diseases…go ahead, I'll wait.

  25. DeeDee Potter

    The Indians hate the truth. They grew up drinking, and nothing has changed. I guess the truth hurts. Get over it.

  26. Steven Williamson

    the character portrays a wise cracking ignorant loder woman. This is no different than Archie Bunker. It's a TV show.

  27. Dave Verbanac

    If you see something on TV that offends you, there is a real easy way to fix that…Do you see that little button on your remote marked "channel"? Well, push it and watch something else! Problem solved!

  28. Dave Daniels

    Fuck Navajo Nation. Its absolutely true so why bitch about it? I suppose had they said "crack smoking Blacks" "rice eating Asians" or "Trailer park whites" THAT would also be incorrect?

  29. Tom Goodwin

    It's hilarious! Sorry people but you do not have the right to not be offended by something. And the PC police is increasingly becoming very dangerous to our freedom of speech. You tell us what we can't say in our comedy and art..what next? music? political forums?

  30. John P. McCormick

    I once told a joke to a friend of mine, he thought it was offensive because I was making fun of a minoriry group, I couldn't believe it. It's a JOKE, just a JOKE – most jokes make fun of something or someone! You know they do tell you laughter is good for you – get a life people, keep telling those jokes and live a little longer!

  31. Brian Nizzia

    Really, I'm not a Fan of the show at all. I saw this bit on the News. Really, Native American's are upset? Arizona is like a Furnace w/ a bunch of Drunk Indian's. So It was brought to light and your upset or Polictican Indian's of a certain Trbe are upset. Does the Truth HURT? Take you CASINO Money and HELP your Tribe get Healthy… and Get Thicker Skin, They (CBS) could of said worse things. Seriously?

  32. John M Hood

    Lots of people think it's okay to be rude and inconsiderate of others in all kinds of ways…except a joke. The president of the United States…no matter who it is…has always had to put up with jokes made at his (so far all his) expense.

  33. Curtis Andrew Hedrick

    I have never heard of this show so I must ask, The character who said the joke, what is their personality? Was that type of comment something someone like her would say? If so, then it needs to be taken as such. Carroll O'Conner said many racist things on All in the Family because the character was a bigot, Blazing Saddles is another good example of actors saying things THEY would never say, but the character would.

  34. Anonymous

    Of course it's not funny it's Mike & Molly. In their defense you should consider that the writers are writing parts for a dumb character who says dumb offensive things all the time.

  35. Dru Phd

    It's not derogatory if it's true. They're just stating facts. Nothing to look at here…

  36. Ranae Czykoski

    OMG! Really it was on a TV sitcom NOT a statement made at a NEWS conference, get your undies out of a bunch and get on with life!

  37. Jeffrey Palen

    I think cultural sensitivity is an important issue, but taken in the context of that show, and the character of Mike's mom, it needs to be taken lightly.

  38. Glen Parks

    What do you mean…"it can't fix the damage done"? What damage? Who doesn't know the Indians get crazy when they get into the Fire Water? Why do you think there is a ban on alcohol on some reservations?

  39. Judith Flickinger

    People..don't you get it? It is a TV show. The character who said it say nasty things about EVERYBODY. It's in her character to do so. She attacks a lot of groups, it's her whole persona. Get a grip, will ya?

  40. Molly Butters

    Hey, we're Irish/German/English/Cherokee. That means I want a drink, I want it now, and I want you to pay for it. And "a furnace full of drunk Indians" pretty much describes Arizona to a T (and Zonies can relax because we have lots of family there–which is why we're here.)

  41. Larry Smith

    American humor must have miss this native American……I think he needs to loosen his head band because it has cut off his humor…..sad very sad…..

  42. Rakesh Saini

    I really hate it when people refer to Indians as Native Americans. Native Americans are not Indians, and Indians are not Native Americans. They are two completely different things. Indians are people who are from the country of India. I am Indian-American, my parents are from India. Are we Native Americans? No.

  43. Anonymous

    Oh, get a life! Political correctness has run amok in this country to the point where all jokes will be barred soon. Jokes usually have a root in truth but apparently when the truth hurts, just waive the discrimination card. Next thing you know Mike and Molly will have to do an entire episode explaining what wonderful things the Indians are doing in this country to promote gambling and sales of tax free cigarettes.

  44. Jose Lerma

    The joke was hilarious if it offended you then maybe you need to do something about alcoholism no get all huffed up about a sitcom! Come on now call a spade a spade.

  45. Tami Lane

    Have 2 remember that when be n a drunken indian about the fat cracker. Make n remarks about my relatives cuz all of us indians r related

  46. Vaughn McKelvey

    NDN"s have been the easy mark after all how often do you see NDN people in any TV drama–The cheapshot is a cheapshot–Until you live in a NDN community and see the long term affects and ramifications it's easy enought o sit back and beliitle and deride–GET OVER IT!—We've been TRYING for over 200 years and it's still the same drivel hashed and rehashed–IT'S NOT OK–and yes I am an enrolled Amskapi Pikuni who cares deeply how we are potrayed as a People!

  47. Samantha M. Claude

    Oh wow! One thing I hate hearing, peaple always saying that all native get money from the goverment!!! You know some tribes do some dont! Look it up learn something about natives. Hunting right psh! We still have to pay to hunt and fish.
    F-you and your ignorance!! Why dont you try to live on the reservation. Maybe your can experience life!

  48. Samantha M. Claude

    From reputation the Navajo Nation does not want to be reconixed as drunks. My elders helped save this country in WWII. Does anybody remember that?? No seriously doubt anybody reconizes the positive. Thats the only reason they want an apology. Where would we be if The Navajo Code Talkers didnt join the war against Japan?
    Yes there are alot of drunken natives in the country but just because THOSE people are drunk does not mean ALL natives live the same way.
    Look out for sobar well behaved Native Americans, can you see them?

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