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CBS-TV “Two Broke Girls” Degrades Polish

By on January 5, 2014

I would like to bring attention to a character on the CBS-TV show “Two Broke Girls” named Sophie Kaczynski. A concerned Polish American friend of mine requested that I (and other Polish Americans) should watch this show to see how Polish people are portrayed in it.    It seemed the Polish character for the most part was portrayed in a border line mildly anti-Polish way….but there have been some episodes where the anti-Polish portrayal of the Polish character has stepped over the line.

I think the Polish immigrant character on this show is starting to become problematic for Polish Americans and Polish people in general. At first I had mixed feelings about Sophie Kaczynski. On the one hand she has some positive qualities in that she is a middle age Polish immigrant who is tall and fairly attractive looking and seems like a go-getter in that she runs her own business, dresses up and has an assertive personality.

On the other hand she many times seems emotional, crazy, nasty, backward and puts down the other characters on the show which would then prompt negative remarks about her, including her Polish ancestry.   When Sophie was putting down character Caroline and Caroline got angry, the other character Max (Caroline’s friend)  tried to console Caroline by saying…..just look at her as a “Polish Fart Cushion”… while the Polish character Sophie just laughed along.

As for Sophie’s business…. Sophie calls it “Sophie’s Choice” which is a reference to the controversial anti-Polish movie “Sophie’s Choice” which portrays Poles as backward while the main narrative is where a Polish mother is forced to choose to give up one of her daughters to be killed by the Nazis.      Therefore its backward and appalling that this Polish immigrant named Sophie would call her business “Sophie’s Choice” even if her name is Sophie. But, evidently CBS-TV thinks that’s “humor”.

Sophie Kaczynski also has said “You’ve heard of doctors without borders? Well we were nurses without credentials. Our motto was ‘What? We want to help’”. This again makes a mockery of Poles.

So basically I had mixed feelings with this Polish immigrant character, but I am afraid her presence on the show is a slippery slope towards anti-Polish imagery for the millions of TV viewers. It appears the producer of the show is increasingly creating more situations where Sophie will say more crazy and backward things which in turn prompts another character in the show to put her down and her Polish identity.

Initially, I didn’t think her Polish character was too bad since she had some redeeming qualities as I mentioned before. I also didn’t think the humor about her was necessarily negative like when she said “In Poland she didn’t win any beauty contests because they thought she was “too short”.  At first I thought that could be anti-Polish humor because the inference is that Poles are too dumb to see that she is 6 feet tall….. .or it could be benign humor…. in that the women in Poland are very tall. Basically they are making Polish people look bad by character assassination.

Sophie Kaczynski is starting to be more graphic with her anti-Polish comments. For the past few weeks she would say “Back in Poland”….or reference Poland…… and then say something stupid.

Here are some examples

Oct. 14 – Sophie thinks a cat is a reincarnation of her enemy from Poland and acts afraid of the cat because she really believes it’s a reincarnation of the old enemy of hers from Poland.  This makes her look like a moron.

Oct. 28 – She says she only needs 3 hours of sleep because she sleeps 6 hours during the day.

Nov. 4 – She saw how another character was with a prostitute, thought it was funny joke and says to the other characters while POINTING to her head…..”that’s the kind of thing I think about later and then laugh at” (almost like its implying she is too slow to understand a joke initially) . She also said… “This is a LOL (Laugh out Loud) thing that is good to remember for later. Note: many times what she says sounds awkward by the ridiculous “Polish accent” the producer of the show gave her character.

On Nov.  10 – she said to her friend Carol that she and her friend Oleg “got her back” and implied that they roughed up a guy named “Mike” who stood up Caroline on a date and disrespected Caroline.    Caroline then said to Sophie…..his name wasn’t Mike it was Mark!   Sophie then screams in a stupid way “NO WONDER HE KEPT SCREAMING HIS NAME IS MIKE” as if Sophie was too dumb to rough up the right guy.

On either Nov. 17 or Nov. 24  Sophie Kaczynski has a cleaning lady – with just one functioning arm (the other arm is in a cast) – from her cleaning business come to clean her friend’s apartment. When  the friend says ,”How can she clean my apartment with just one arm?”  Sophie basically says “Well, with my company SOPHIE’S CHOICE, I give you the CHOICE of having half off with just a one armed cleaner!”.

Then on the Dec. 2 show, Sophie gets a text message from her friend Carol about Carol’s nanny dying and then Sophie visits Carol and says “I dressed in Black to mourn for your nanny and also because I JUST GOT my period”…… Sophie continues…..”BACK IN POLAND I was so sad when my nanny died, I COULD BARELY EAT HER!   Carol then says……YOU ATE YOUR DEAD NANNY??? Sophie says…..OF COURSE……she was a goat and the goat has good goat meat! It doesn’t matter her name was nanny”.

So in that anti-Polish dialog by Sophie, she first puts in the brains of millions of American viewers that POLISH PEOPLE EAT DEAD PEOPLE……then it switches to…….POLISH PEOPLE HAVE GOATS FOR NANNIES. Then it switches too she called her goat “Nanny” and that she equates that to Caroline’s deceased human nanny/caretaker person.  What the heck?

Why does CBS-TV have to put such negative imagery about Poles in their shows? The other Black character and Asian character don’t make such degrading comments about their ethnic backgrounds.     Although the chef, whose name is Oleg and is either Russian or Ukrainian, makes similar ridiculous comments. He doesn’t identify those comments with a particular nation (as far as I know)….. although Wikipedia said his identity is either Russian or Ukrainian.     So this show seems anti-Polish if not anti-Slavic.

The bottom line is I don’t think the dialogue coming from this Polish character Sophie Kaczynski, is making Polish people look good.    It’s doing the opposite.

Therefore I would like to request that Polish Americans and their supporters keep an eye on “Two Broke Girls”, (it’s on Monday 8:30PM ET) and this character Sophie Kaczynski. Polish Americans should also tell CBS-TV to stop degrading Polish people in their shows.

Frankly I think a TV network like CBS-TV should show extra sensitivity to Polish people, considering how they have bashed Poles in the past. Their old 1970′s show “All in the Family” created a huge atmosphere of anti-Polish bigotry and prejudice in America with all of the anti-Polish slurs coming from that show, that went into millions of impressionable viewers’ minds. This 1970’s CBS show “All in the Family”….which the producer of the show Norman Lear claimed was supposed to “Stop ethnic bigotry and prejudice in America”…..actually stirred it up……especially against Polish people with all the predominate anti-Polish sound bites and “jokes” against Poles by is main character Archie Bunker.

In the show “All in the Family”, Norman Lear and even the actor who played the bigoted  character “Archie Bunker”… Carol O’Connor…. would tell everyone that the Archie Bunker character’s ethnic slurs and insult jokes would be “rejected by Americans” since Archie Bunker was portrayed as being an arrogant bigoted buffoon.     Although Archie Bunker was portrayed half the time as a bigoted buffoon, the other half of the time the audience was NOT laughing against him but laughing WITH him! Especially when the Polish American character Michael Stivic was doing or saying something stupid like drooling cereal food out of his mouth.

Although “Two Broke Girls” is a different kind of show than “All in the Family”, the producer of the show may try to defend the Polish character in the same way the producer of the show “All in the Family” tried to defend the Polish character in that show.  The producer of “All in the Family” said the Polish character was an “educated man”, but that was counter balanced by him being unemployed, acting like a buffoon with cereal drooling from his mouth or water squirting in his face while trying to fix a faucet while being called repeatedly a “Dumb Polack” by Archie Bunker who the audience LAUGHED WITH. It basically seems with both of these CBS shows that the Polish character is given some TOKEN positive qualities which are outweighed by the anti-Polish imagery and sound bites about the given Polish character and Poland.

For the record, this kind of negative portrayal of Polish people as having inferior/backward intelligence came from Nazi German propaganda. Hitler in two of his speeches….after he invaded Poland……made “jokes” about Polish people having inferior intelligence. SO WHY do American TV networks like CBS-TV CONTINUE de-facto Nazi propaganda against Polish people……when CBS has always told us that the Nazi Germans were bad people? Does CBS-TV secretly admire Nazi German propaganda against Polish people?

Recent episodes can be seen on the  CBS website at http://www.cbs.com/shows/2_broke_girls/

You can contact CBS-TV and give them your feedback on the show at http://www.cbs.com/feedback

Or/And call their headquarters 212-975-4321 and have them connect you to the show feedback department for your comments on the show.

It would also be good to speak out against this anti-Polish imagery on social media like facebook, twitter, etc.

Sincerely,
G. Brezecki

  • Kasia

    Hi, I’m from Poland and I love the show, and the character of Zofia, too. I think her comments about how it was back in Poland are such an absurd no one being sane would believe any of it is true. This humor seems very Monthy Pyton-like and here in Poland we love this kind of sense of humor that loves irony, sarcasm and absurd. Many friends of mine enjoy the show very much. Sofie’s comments – well, we laugh to tears on the absurdity! It is very nice of you to defend Polish image and Poland, but I think you take this series tooo seriously:-)))

    • http://www.posteaglenewspaper.com PostEagle

      Maybe in Poland, you can see this as just humor, but in the U.S. people of Polish descent have been put down for years with the “Polish” joke, making Poles to appear as “stupid”, “ignorant”. Believe it or not, many people don’t want to even admit they are Polish because of the stigma. So you really don’t understand. But thank you for your opinion.