A line uttered by actress Rondi Reed (left, with series star Melissa McCarthy) on the series 'Mike & Molly' has sparked controversy.

'Drunk Indians' Joke Lands 'Mike & Molly' in Hot Water

March 05, 2013

American Indians were blindsided by a quip on a recent episode of the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly. At one point in the show, Rondi Reed, the actress who plays Ruth, mother of Mike (Billy Gardell) and mother-in-law to Molly (Melissa McCarthy), said "Arizona? Why would I go to Arizona? It's nothing but a furnace full of drunk Indians."

Many Natives in Arizona, which is home to 21 federally recognized tribes, are failing to see the humor.

"It’s offensive, it’s derogatory, it’s deplorable," Erny Zah, communications director for the President and Vice President of the Navajo Nation, told ABCNews.com. "Ignorance is one thing, but this must have passed through a lot of eyes before it appeared on a network show."

Zah told an Associated Press reporter that it's "easy to make fun of" people who struggle with alcoholism, 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 (NAJA) said in a statement at NAJA.com that "This comment shows blatant disregard for the original inhabitants of this land and perpetuates antiquated stereotypes of Native Americans."

Both Zah and NAJA said that an apology is in order -- "but it can't fix the damage done," Zah added.

"To me, it’s not funny making fun of a minority group," NAJA President Rhonda LeValdo told the AP. "Are we supposed to be the entertainment for mainstream?"

Both the Associated Press and ABCNews.com solicited comment from CBS, but were declined.



Submitted by ric on

It's obvious that no one associated with this show has had any real experience with alcoholism in their family...That's a horrible, insensitive remark to make...

Marilyn Wounded Head
Submitted by Marilyn Wounded Head on

Two weeks ago, on the Tim Allen show, similar conversation was on the show. This show had a portrayal of the American Indian and the talk of political correctness. The show had some Indian guy dressed in leather/period dress at the end of the show. The youngest boy was repeating the stereotypical words of Tim Allen's character. Please look into this. I think they were portraying Buffalo Bill. Tim Allen wouldn't be touched because his character is republican and often derides, women, etc.