CBS Network’s Streak of Racism Continues

CBS's "2 Broke Girls" depicts Armenians as thieves

The CBS Television Network continues its streak of racism during its primetime programming, this time targeting Armenians with a stereotype that paints the entire community as thieves.


In Monday’s episode of CBS’s moderate-hit “2 Broke Girls,” when a new cappuccino maker is brought into the cupcake store by a co-worker, he says he bought it for a cheap price from a person who stole it but sells it at a profit, adding “it’s the Armenian way.” When the character is pressed that he is not Armenian, he says “I know. But, it’s the Armenian way.”

Incidentally, this not a first for the show or the network!

In 2011, The Hollywood Reporter wrote about the racial stereotypes peppered in the scripts of “2 Broke Girls” against a Korean character.

This summer, however, saw the most blatant racism from CBS, when several cast members of its hit reality series “Big Brother” used racist slurs to describe or speak to fellow African-American and Asian cast members. The network, at the time, defended its decision to include those parts, saying it might promote a national discussion on race.

Ironically, it was on the very same network, where Julie Chen host of “Big Brother” and a co-host on “The Talk,” and wife of CBS President Les Moonves, revealed to viewers that in an earlier job as a television reporter, workplace racism forced her to get plastic surgery to enlarge her “Asian eyes.”

Past characterization of Armenians in television shows from FX’s “The Shield,” Showtime’s “Weeds” and others have sparked a debate about how Armenians are characterized on television shows, with some opining that the fact that Armenians are even being mentioned in mainstream scripts is a step up.

However, we have yet to see a depiction of an Armenian character in a television show—broadcast or cable—that reflects the history of the Armenian-American community and the great contribution our community has had in the advancement of American society. Instead, our community continues to be portrayed as gang members, thieves and drug dealers for dramatic and comedic effect.

The number of Armenians in the entertainment industry continues to grow in an impressive pace both in front of and behind the camera, yet the depiction of Armenians on TV and films continues to degenerate.

Perhaps, to expect CBS to draw the line at Armenians is a bit too much given their most recent streak of allowing racism on the airwaves for quick ratings, but certainly calling them on it will draw attention to this harmful trend disguised as entertainment.

“2 Broke Girls” is produced by Warner Bros. Television and airs on CBS on Mondays.
Peter Roth is President and Chief Content Officer, Warner Bros. Television Group, and President, Warner Bros. Television. Nina Tassler is Head of Entertainment at CBS.

Contact CBS:
51 W. 52nd Street
New York, NY 10019-6188

Contact Warner Bros. Television
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522
CA Tel. 818-954-6000
Fax 212-954-7667

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  1. Arman said:

    …..and as for “the Armenian way”……………. I think these Warner Brothers and CBS bigshots know very little about the REAL traits of REAL Armenians. How low of them to ignore many good things of Armenian culture and history, and only display the bad things that obviously suit their hateful and malicious intentions. EVERY community has their poor immigrant classes, among whom you can find petty merchants, cheats, and even criminals. These entertainment industry MOBSTERS will never make a film about the Armenian Genocide, but will gladly use the “bad apples” to insult an entire community. It’s all about interests. It’s in their interests that only the Holocaust occupies the paramount position in front of the world’s eyes……… if suffering, persecution, and genocide were competitions where the number one victim gets a prize!!!!!! How sick do certain people have to be to exclude the suffering of other ethnic groups when it doesn’t serve their interests!!!! It’s no secret that Israel and Turkey have important strategic relations. That’s why many Jews and Israelis deny the Armenian Genocide using a variety of methods, from outright opposition to Armenian Genocide Resolutions in Congress, to more subtle things like what we saw in “2 Broke Girls.”
    Read and learn what great odds this small nation called Armenians has overcome, and you’ll see “the Armenian Way.”

    • Ashot said:

      In there books it is written that a man of Armenian decent will be the end of the rwligion.
      .. I pray to my god and Jesus Christ that I am that Armenian man.

  2. Mike Dermenjian said:

    Relax.. it’s a tv show that no one even watches. Be glad we’re being mentioned at all

    • Ashot said:

      Why don’t you be glad and people who are proud of there race for where it has brought this earth will get angry…you self hating loser.

  3. Nick said:

    I hope our attorney’s are gearing up for a lawsuit. Hit them where it hurts and they’ll never do it again.

  4. ronnie said:

    In my opinion, you are being over sensitive.I found the joke funny,it was a joke and that is all.
    Modern shows make fun of many stereotypes and sometimes add a little salt to make fun of this melting pot society.
    2 broke girls makes all kind of shady jokes mostly on Koreans and Polish etc..
    No person with half a brain does or should take the jokes seriously.
    It did not depict Armenians as thieves but as atshekepatz. If the guy had stolen the cappuccino machine and then said “it is the Armenian way ” then yes.. but that was not the case.
    You have to watch the show for a while to get the context of most jokes.

    Finally, since when does Asbarez care about our Image on TV after forcefully shoving us all on the Mongolian queen of trash and her vayreni family ‘s bandwagon during all these years???

  5. Aren said:

    Honestly, who the heck cares? I’m Armenian, and i found it funny. Stop being so sensitive.

    • Ashot said:

      Be proud of who you are don’t let the jew play his tricks on u man. If its so funny why dont they do it to themselves with there big ugly shylock noses and stingyness and evil hearts.

  6. SA said:

    If we want the entertainment industry to reflect “…the history of the Armenian-American community and the great contribution our community has had in the advancement of American society” then let’s begin by NOT idolizing Kim Kardashian ourselves!

    This portrayal in this instance is so off the mark, really has nothing to do with Armenians and flat out wrong by CBS. The Big Bang Theory has dropped in Armenians here and there in a funny and harmless way and having fun with some of our cultural truths (like setting up a feast for an army for a simple dinner). Those don’t represent our community’s contributions but I’ll take that acknowledgment of Armenians in entertainment any day.

  7. amb said:

    who wrote the episode? go after them. the creator and executive producers, the production company that produces it.

  8. vartan said:

    we all know who controls tv indusrty and hollywood. they are as filty as other minorities themselves.or they are choosen people . read your history and stop blaming armenians

  9. Jazmin said:

    Shame on CBS. I stopped watching those fools years ago. Now I’m glad I did.

  10. karakeuz said:

    The entertainment industry is controljed by particular race group. The stererotypes of other racial groups is broadcasted, except that of their own. They should be brought to severe censure and legal action taken .

  11. John Ahmaranian said:

    Very simple! No need to watch CBS, period.
    ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX are enough. I let CBS know that. I have to take my
    morning coffee not in front of the CBS programs. 350,000 Armenians in LA are not ready to watch
    a biased, racist, shameful and anti-Armenian programs.
    Thank you Azbarez for your awareness. But you must ask the Armenians to boycott CBS.
    As the channel suggested “this is the Armenian way!”

  12. Stepan Partamian said:

    that is why I have published “Yes, We Have” so it could be used as damage control tool to educate Americans in power positions to get educated about American-Armenians.
    I will send “Yes, We Have” and “The Armenian in America” Books to Nina Tassler & Peter Roth as part of my campaign.
    It is so unfortunate that Armenian organizations do not know how to educate Americans, It is ok they will learn too.

    • Leo said:

      Bravo Stepan; that’s the way to do it. It is the 21st century, we need to educate rather than sit back and cry over it.

  13. Mike said:

    Don’t worry about filthy tv channels. Everybody knows everything.

    Just discontinue their services and spend more time with you family and friends.

  14. James said:

    How about we clean up our own shows on Armenian channels as the first step before forming a pitchfork mob against CBS. I don’t watch Armenian channels like Shant or USArmenia, and I wholeheartedly miss the days of Armenian Teletime despite its poor production/technology, but most of the shows that I’ve come across today are filthy and portray Armenians as criminals and low life. We have American shows and movies for that, we don’t need to create our own.

    Unfortunately, ‘the industry’ does stereotype Armenians as criminals. Even in video gaming. The new Grand Theft Auto game has an Armenian character who runs some auto scam. Our image has been tarnished over the decades due to lowlifes being put on the spotlight, such as criminal elements from Armenia who ended up here (yeah, this is taboo to say but you know it’s the truth). Then we have the Kardashians, who are worth less than garbage but somehow are embraced, even by Asbarez.

    So first we need to restore our image, then determine if some show is being racist. And finally, I think it’s ridiculous to blame Jews for this situation. The Jewish stereotype of being cheap is very much portrayed in television and movies, particularly of the comedy genre.

    • Mike said:

      James, it’s not about blaming someone. It’s about knowing the history. Or may be you should not blame Turks and Azers either?

      I dislike Kardashians also. Her mother is not Armenian. It’s an anti-Armenian project. Sadly, many Armenians are so ignorent that they do not want to know the truth.

      Sure there are some Armenians who are not the best, did you ask why? Why all of this going on? Why our nation was taken to the path of degradation. Are you taking all facts to account when blaming it all on Armenians? Are you objective? Or just trying to please some one hoping that they will help you to achieve something you want? Do your research and look at facts. Study critical thinking and logical falesies.

      “To discover who rules you, find out who you are not allowed to criticize.” – Voitaire

  15. gabe korajian said:

    I do not understand why we are pointing the gun to the show makers. In my opinion, it would be more productive to send a few wise words to our corrupt and crooked Armenian colleagues residing in the United States to stop carriers associated with fencing, stealing, drug dealing and overall gangster-like or gangster- related occupations. It is more rewarding and civil to chose honest and dignified professions in life, at least, in the long run. Shame on us for depicting such a negative image of ourselves in a country where we are residing on discretionary grounds. Shame on us once again!

  16. Lori said:

    I thought the comment the comment was reflective of “the Armenian way” what I found off putting was that the show is supposed to be based in the hipster infested Williamsburg area of Brooklyn. The show is written & taped here in SoCal. All races are going to stereotyped for the worst attributes instead of bitching about the ugly being pointed out perhaps write an article appealing to the uglies to correct their ugly ways.

  17. Lori said:

    One more thing, the most popular show on CBS that also had reruns on other networks is “Big Bang Theory” which often makes non deragatory references to Armenians. In fact they always paint Armenians in a warm light so you have to take the good with the bad.

  18. ARARAT said:


  19. aha said:

    I wonder why the author of the article only focused on Armenian people (only one mention of Koreans being degraded)? What is more noticeable is the streak of absolutely idiotic and offensive and degrading jokes about Polish people as enacted by one of the characters who plays a Polish woman, the character of Sophie Kachinsky (it should have been Kaczynski actually – so much for the brain power of the producers of the show). Why is that the author failed to account for that?

  20. D said:

    I have noticed for years that television will simply run the laugh track after the mention of the word “Armenian”, like everyone should know that Armenians are jokes. I don’t recall there ever being an explanation of why we’re supposed to laugh, and I don’t recall ever seeing an identified Armenian character on TV. It’s as if there is a deliberate and coordinated attempt to make people think of Armenians as sub-human. This is very confusing and disturbing to me since the first, and nearly only, thing I know about Armenians is that they suffered a genocide that Turkey vehemently refuses to acknowledge.

    Although, I recently learned that the LA California area has a big Armenian community, so maybe things produced in California are depending on the local dynamics for good-natured joshing (or local racism), just as if you’d watch a show in the UK and a character could say, “Because he’s English/Irish/Scottish/Welsh” and play that for a laugh. But since most of the US does not have a big Armenian population, using “Armenian” as a punchline comes off as really weird and sinister.