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Stereotype of the Month Entry

Another Stereotype of the Month entry:

tonight, march 3rd, futurama (on fox) had on an episode about "martian indians" that was quite funny. while most would jump to the conclusion that we were being made fun of, there was a lot of two-layered jokes that made fun of the stereotypes rather than the people those stereotypes are aimed at. there were a few mistakes, however, such as Tonto talk and the usage of a peace pipe.

they tried, but once again, old stereotypes persist. overall it was a good cartoon. rock on.

—inten rael

Rob's reply
I gleaned the following from a summary of this episode, Where the Buggalo Roam (production code 3ACV10):

  • The Natives traded the whole planet for one bead, making them look naive and ignorant.
  • The Natives kidnap character Amy to get their planet back, making them look uncivilized and warlike.
  • Amy's kidnap note says, "Oh no! Martians kidnap Amy! I know it them 'cause they no use good grammar!"
  • The Natives have a Great Stone Face of Mars, suggesting they worship primitive idols.
  • A sign says "Martian Reservation: Trespassers will be guilt-ridden."
  • In negotiating the release of their kidnap victim, the Natives accept a new planet. The following exchange occurs:
  • Leela: What about your sacred land?

    Martian Chief: Land, schmand! We don't want to live on this planet! It's a dump! We'll buy a new planet and act like it's sacred. With cash like this, who's gonna argue? Nobody, that's who."

    This suggests the well-known Indian love of the land is a pretense...that Indian claims of sacredness are a pretense...that Indians prefer money like any other Americans.

    As Inten Rael suggested, sometimes a show can display stereotypes while making fun of them. But the examples above don't seem to have multiple sides or multilayered interpretations. They seem flatly stereotypical to me.

    Related links
    Tipis, feather bonnets, and other Native American stereotypes

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