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Thanksgiving With the Indians on 'Outsourced' (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Nov 19th 2010 9:31AM
Thanksgiving With the Indians on 'Outsourced'Thanksgiving is a part of American history and is one of our biggest holidays. But the residents of Mumbai, India are less familiar with the concept. On 'Outsourced' (Thu., 9:30PM ET on NBC), Todd Dempsey (Ben Rappaport) has to sell some Thanksgiving-themed novelties. So the manager tries to explain "Turkey Day" to his call center staff.

But telling South Asian Indians a story about "Pilgrims and Indians" inevitably causes offense. Todd gushes about how Indians helped Pilgrim settlers survive the winter in New England. Employee Asha (Rebecca Hazlewood) asks a really good question. "But if the Indians gave the Pilgrims shelter, what did Pilgrims give the Indians?" Todd stutters an idiotic reply: "Less land ... to worry about?"

Assistant manager Rajiv (Rizwan Manji) has his own version of the tale. Rajiv wants Todd's call center job, so he adds some pretty obvious symbolism: "The Pilgrims came to a land which was not their own and subjugated the Indians." He says they did this "so the white man could run the call center." One-second pause. " ... I mean 'the country,'" he says, giving Todd an intensely sarcastic grin.

Next, Todd points out that American Indians now prefer to be called "Native Americans." Gupta (Parvesh Cheena) asks another question: "Why?" Todd's insensitive reply seals his doom: "Well, they find the term 'Indian' ... derogatory," he says, as the entire office falls silent and glares at him. It's an intensely awkward moment with his extended call center "family." Still, tense family debates are a Thanksgiving tradition too, so at least Todd got that part right.

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