Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sofia Vergara with that Chelsea chick.


  1. So check out this interview between Chelsea and Sofia, what is curious is that they are playing with stereotypes the whole time, Sofia calls Chelsea a racist, Chelsea is making fun of Sofia's accent the whole time. Now both of these women are comedians, and something that can be seen as incredibly funny to one person, will seem deeply offensive to someone else. So I am interested in your thoughts on ethnic comedy which consistently plays with stereotypes, do these (or can these) become subversive signifiers by challenging or assigning new value to old meanings or do they simply reproduce what already exists?

  2. I think ethnic comedy, because it relies so heavily on poking fun at different racial stereotypes, can be quite a slippery slope. It's difficult to say what is appropriate and "funny" and what might be offensive and hurtful. Both women kept the banter light and playful, but there were definitely some digs made with reference to Sofia's accent and her country of origin...Chelsea mentions Colombian drug dealers as the only famous Colombians besides Sofia and Shakira.

    With regard to comedy and subversive signifiers, I feel like it isn't really helpful in challenging old meanings. While making fun of some racial stereotypes could shed light on how ridiculous many of them are, I feel that for the most part, it just makes light of the significance of stereotypes. For example, in this clip, Chelsea constantly mentions/teases Sophia about Sophia's accent. What is interesting about this is how it relates to Davila's point about how stereotypes create "binary oppositions that reduce complexity to two extremes" (100). Namely, it is assumed that Sophia has an accent, while Chelsea doesn't. Why is it that the American woman (who a British person would say has an accent) is the standard against which Sophia's speech is compared? Both women are beautiful, successful, and funny, but it is ultimately Sophia who is objectified and made fun of by playing off of stereotypes about her culture/race.