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SBS Racist

“What is the point of having a multicultural public broadcaster if you’re not going to give the people that it pretends to support a chance to lead it and shape its content?”
“A colleague and I were at our desks in the TV and online department [at Australia network SBS], talking about an interview I had done with Gurinder Chadha, the director of Bend It Like Beckham. Two other colleagues joined. I pointed out that she and I shared some heritage – we were both Punjabi (our families came from that Indian state; I’m also half Puerto Rican). “No, you’re not, you’re American,” said one colleague, kindly erasing and explaining my cultural heritage to me. He then told a story about encountering the director in some unfavourable capacity. “She had that Indian thing where she was very rude,” he said. I didn’t quite believe what I was hearing so I offered him the chance to walk it back, suggesting that if she was rude, maybe it wasn’t necessarily because she was Indian. Did he actually mean to say that, like all people, some Indians were rude? Nope. He’d spent time in India and he was sure – Indian people were rude. I gave him another out: Chadha was raised in Britain, so was there something innate about rudeness in Indians that had been passed down to her? Yes, he said, tripling down and adding that if he ever saw her again he’d kick her in the teeth. Then the two colleagues walked off. I was shocked at how comfortable this person seemed while saying those things – and that the other colleague with that person thought it was funny.”

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