"Mike & Molly" Racist Joke Offends 'Drunk Indians' in Arizona

By Lauren Cortez | Mar 06, 2013 12:03 PM EST
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The CBS sitcom "Mike and Molly," starring Melissa McCarthy, jabbed Navajo Nation where it apparently hurts when the episode that aired last week referred to Native Americans in Arizona as "drunk Indians."

In the supposed offensive scene, Mike's mother Peggy, who is played by Rondi Reed, quipped, "Arizona? Why would I move to Arizona? It's nothing but a furnace full of drunk Indians."

Erny Zah, a spokesperson for the Navajo Nation, which occupies parts of Arizona, told ABCNews.com, "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."

She continues,"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."

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

Zah added, "An apology would be appropriate but it can't fix the damage done."

However, both CBS and Warner Bros., which produces "Mike & Molly," declined to comment for this story or extend an apology to Navajo Nation, according to the Inquisitir.

"I think a lot of times people make excuses for when they do those type of jokes or sarcasm," said NAJA President Rhonda LeValdo, who is from Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico. "To me, it's not funny making fun of a minority group. Are we supposed to be the entertainment for mainstream?"

Note to "Mike and Molly" producers: It's probably best to stay away from any jokes involving American Indians and alchohol in the future to aviod controversy.

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