Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Dudesons, MTV, AIM, and a Whole Bunch O' Racism

By now most people in the anti-racist blogosphere have heard about MTV's racist TV show, The Dudesons: Cowboys and Findians. (aka Cowboys and Pretendians)

Finnish Pretendian on the Dudesons

The American Indian Movement, Santa Barbara chapter, is coordinating an email, mail and phone protest. If MTV doesn't meet the deadline, the next step will be a boycott of MTV and their sponsors, and protests at their offices by Native activists and supporters. It's not the first time MTV has crossed the line with their racism, by any means, but this time we're going to try to do something about it.

Here's a press release, sample email, and contact addresses for writing and calling MTV.

Findiot Prepares to Injure Himself

Immigrants, Racism, Stereotypes, & MTV

from AIM Santa Barbara
Today at 7:21pm

Wait! Do these guys have GREEN CARDS? Are they IMMIGRANTS? Why didn't they spoof the freaking governmental freaks in Arizona? You don't hear anyone saying these Fins are taking Americans jobs do ya?! No one is asking these idiots if they have a Green Card! Are they legal? They look like Immigrants to me....

We watched The Dudesons last night. It was horrible. Over and over these crazy white men in headdresses and feathers would injure themselves and scream things like, "I'm becoming a Native American!" One man injured his testicles and anus, screamed, "I think I ripped my a***ole!" and his friends replied, "You're the Chief now!"

When they performed their "Break Out of Jail" skit, they asked one of the white men dressed as an Indian what he did to wind up in jail. He replied, "Honestly, it was my own casino that I burned down." Before they were slapped in the face with fish, the white men said, "True Native Americans, they fish with their mouth. And with their hands." The only authentic Native American on the show nodded his head and said, "It's true." The voiceover continues, "Native Americans are like bears. They catch fish with their mouths. This is a rite of passage for fishing."

MTV is a pillar of this economic and cultural racism. They have the power to create cultural attitudes and cultural shifts, especially among young people. But with shows like The Dudesons they are choosing to use this power to degrade and exploit.

Now some people have said that this is only comedy. “Why are you guys so riled up? It makes people laugh,” - Yes, it makes people laugh. But as someone put it very eloquently; “are they laughing at us or with us?” take a look at the clip. You decide.

What are the positives of this show? Will it open new roles for Native people in the industry? Will it interest people to research Native Culture? Does this show celebrate Native Diversity? Or does it perpetuate more stereotypes? How will this affect our Native children already being taunted at school? Does this show aid or hamper our causes such as and not limited to: high rates of suicide, domestic violence? Treaty right violations?

This is not just a National show, it will have INTERNATIONAL viewing.

AIM SB is asking you to take 5 minutes - 5 minutes to call or shoot off an email to MTV.

Below is a sample:

I am writing to protest your racist show, The Dudesons: Cowboys and Findians. Though you were able to find a Native American to participate in this culturally offensive display, he is only one man. Many others are appalled at the negative stereotypes you are promoting. It adds insult to injury that you gave the impression that Native peoples somehow approve of being depicted as animals and self-injuring fools.

You have already run this show three times this week. I add my voice to the demand that you stop this racist attack. Immediately. If you do not take the show out of rotation and issue an apology to the Native American people by June 1, 2010, a complete boycott of your network and all your sponsors will begin.


Please include AIM SB on the cc (

Melissa Barreto
Senior Publicist

Stephanie Berman
Senior Director

Jeff Castaneda
Vice President

Janice Gatti

Senior Publicist he covers the Dudesons

See also:


And here's a handy copy and paste to put all those addresses in the field of an email:;;;;;;

ETA 5.21.10: Jennifer Yuhas Gall weighs in with a strong post, an excellent sample letter, and a brief history lesson for MTV: The Dudesons in America ~ Racism and Stereotyping at its Finest…and Lowest.

ETA 5.22.10: MTV removed the video from their website sometime during the evening of 5.21.10. It was uploaded to YouTube, then removed by Viacom. Activists have reposted it here:

Cowboys & Findians-Part One

Cowboys & Findians-Part Two

MTV and Viacom are busy doing damage control online, but we need to keep after them as the episode is still scheduled to play in reruns on MTV. It's on the schedule a few times in the upcoming weeks. We'll be watching to see if it airs. And we are still waiting on that apology.

ETA later on 5.22.10
: Rob Schmidt has posted a good summation of the coverage and commentary so far: Natives Protest The Dudesons

No comments: