Race and Gender Biasness as Portrayed in The Big Bang Theory
The Big Bang Theory is an American sitcom by three exclusive creators Steven Molaro, Bill Prady, and Chuck Loree. It is called a sitcom because they shot it in live spectators setting; the series has a total of two hundred and seventy-nine episodes all in twelve seasons. The display of biasness is in different forms across various fields. In the media industry, these forms of bias act as an avenue to educate audiences on challenges experienced in society. The characters’ experience act as a reflection of the issues faced by similar minority groups. In the sitcom series, “The Big Bang Theory,” Raj Koothropali is used to depict the problems of racial and gender discrimination within the series. Raj Koothropali advances the theme of prejudice through being the only racially different character, his viewpoint on arranged marriages, his struggle for freedom from traditional cultural customs, being a standard personality for all Indian men, earning less than his other male colleagues in the series and the discussion on sexist opinions. Well, it is sad but true the TV series popularised some of society’s prejudgment, and anyone keen enough would note. One of the significant discriminations is racism, and the punch line comes in when it is brought to limelight by the series. This discrimination is in almost every episode in the seasons. Racism is a belief that a particular race is superior to others (Balibar & Etienne 163-72). In the whole series, there is only one character of color that is Koothropali compared to the over more than five actors and actresses who are white. Koothropali features as the only brown skin character with a distinct Indian accent. The series has more than five characters, and out of all, Koothropali is the single brown skin, and the rest are whites. This occurrence brings out the highest level of racism in the film.
Koothropali also brings out racism as they portray his character as a shy personality who cannot approach the female gender freely. According to the series, he has an Indian accent, and they depict him as a character who is shy to speak to the female gender. There is a lot of destructive traditions that are brought out from his race. All these occurrences bring out the racist nature of the tv series about Koothropali’s race. the Indian community usually has arranged marriages, and Koothropali has one from his bossy parents. They have chosen a wife for him from his culture, and he does not quite find this appealing. In the series, he tells his friends in a rather sulky and not so exciting mood that his parents have organized an arranged marriage for him. Koothropali describes this cultural tradition as tinder but now with your parents typing. It clearly shows that it was not out of his will but his parents. Arranged marriages can be such a burden to someone because you may not even like the other person.
From the series, we can also see Koothropali trying to free himself from his traditional cultural customs. Koothropali confesses to his friends that when he first came into the United States of America, he tried his best to fit in. He wanted to be just like the others and even look like them. He almost lost his identity trying to fit in and be like the rest. Koothropali shows up to his friends with his natural hair something they had never seen him with before. He then reveals how he wanted to fit in so bad, and he wore his hair like that with inspiration from one of his friends’. Koothropali discloses the reason for copying this particular friend is because he was the most relaxed person he knew, and he wanted to look just like him. Fitting in can be extreme pressure on an individual who may go to extremes to actualize this.
Also, racism is put to limelight when Koothropali becomes a standard personality for all Indian men. One Indian actor narrates an experience whereby he met a white person who told him he reminds him of someone. Later, the person remembered the name of the character he reminded him of and said it is Koothropali from The Big Bang Theory. The statement agitated him because it is like Koothropali has become a stereotype of how the whites imagine all Indian men. The agitation was because the series brought out Koothropali as a humorless, unpleasant, and retrograde character. He said Koothropali represents nothing from his community because they are now advanced and not as rearward as in the previous centuries portrayed by Koothropali in The Big Bang Theory. Koothropali receives less stipend than his other male counterparts in the series. It is quite illogical that he is the only male character who earns less, yet his role is just as extensive as the rest as he commits himself and his time towards the success of the series. Koothropali receives only eighty percent of what his other male colleagues earn, and this shows the biasness in the series just because he is a person of color. Without his presence, the series will be lacking an essential character whom they need for the flow of the series.
Apart from racism, the series also portrays gender biasness. It is brought out in the series by Koothropali and the sexist statement he made during his engagement with one of the female characters. Koothropali hooks up with one of the women in the series and tells her that as friends, they did not have sex in a predictable sense, and this agitated the woman (Hu & Shuqin 1185-1190). The statement is sexist as it objectifies the female gender as a mere sex object. The fact that the description used is a hookup, and they engaged in sex demeans the female gender. Despite the series being on air for entertainment, it is a plague in society because it brings out some of the vices in the world, such as race and gender discrimination. The Big Bang Theory will still live on generation after generation because it is still available for viewing, and thus the vices risk being passed down to the youngsters. Racism and gender biasness is evil and should be done away within the whole world. Sadly, the entertainment industry tends to continue producing and releasing content that downgrades women and makes other races appear inferior. Koothropali, in the big bang theory as a character, has shown how society views people of color to be more specific to the Indians. The series brings out their deeply rooted belief in their culture such as the continuation of arranged marriage till now which is not the case today. Not all Indians follow this tradition today, and, sadly, they air such vices. The fact that Koothropali tries to break away from his traditions shows how it is harmful to the individuals of the race. Whites who meet with other Indians link them with Koothropali as they view him as a general description of an Indian man.
Cite this Essay
To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below