Since its inception, The Big Bang Theory was either too racist, too sexist or too stereotypical. Here is a list of the five biggest stereotypes that the famous American sitcom promoted.
Since its debut in 2009, The Big Bang Theory made us roll on the floor, laugh, and go ‘aww’ numerous times. Until TBBT, scientists were stereotyped as nerds and mad people. But the sitcom’s approach towards science became instantly famous as it normalized geek culture.
- The ‘dumb blond‘ stereotype
- The ‘Indian’ stereotype
- The ‘Jewish mother’ stereotype
- ‘Women in science are not hot’ stereotype
- ‘Bromance = Gay’ stereotype
However, in doing so, creator Chuck Lorre promoted many stereotypes too that earned him harsh criticism. We have listed five such stereotypes that TBBT promoted.
The ‘dumb Blond’ stereotype
Undoubtedly, one of the most stereotyped characters in TBBT is Penny. By trying to normalize ‘intelligent’ scientists like Sheldon or Leonard, Lorre had to introduce characters that are closer to viewers in terms of relatability. Presenting Penny, neighbour to Sheldon and Leonard.
Penny is shown as the regular working woman who dates, works as a waitress, and has her own friends. But her portrayal has been that of a dumb blond who is unintelligent and always makes stupid choices in life or otherwise. This made viewers cringe.
The ‘Indian’ stereotype
A sitcom is incomplete without a compulsory man of colour — be it an African-American, or an Indian guy who always gets bullied by his ‘white’ friends. Apparently, that’s what American sitcom makers used to think during the 2000s.
Case in point is Rajesh, aka Raj Koothrapally. Undoubtedly the most stereotyped character in TBBT, he is brown, wears shabby sweaters over full-sleeved shirts, and dons a middle parting. Raj is so shy that he even gets scared of looking at women, is still virgin and is waiting for an arranged marriage. It is nerve-wracking to know that’s what Americans think of Indians.
The ‘Jewish mother’ stereotype
Through Amy is also a Jewish in TBBT, Howard is the most advertised one. Lorre has repeatedly stereotyped Jewish women. In this case, it’s Howard’s mother. All that the audience knows about her is that she’s fat, loud, overbearing, and loves to guilt-trip her son. Howard’s mom checks out almost every box for a stereotypical Jewish mother.
‘Women in science are not hot’ stereotype
One thing that TBBT has recognized is that science is not just a man’s world. Thank god for that. Amy and Bernadette are women scientists in the show. However, from the first scene when Amy is introduced, it is insinuated that women who are scientists are not beautiful or even remotely hot.
This has been objectified over and over. For instance, guys’ jaws dropped when Penny, Amy, and Bernadette dolled up in hot little numbers to go for drinks in season 6, like that was the first time they realized that women in science can look good.
‘Bromance = gay’ stereotype
Two men who are close confidants and best friends don’t have to be gay. Another stereotype in the show, Raj and Howard are shown as very close friends and often, it is insinuated that Raj has romantic feelings for Howard. Straight men can be feminine, but Howard and Raj are often bullied because of it.
Do you think these are all the stereotypes in TBBT, or so you have more? Why don’t you tell us about them in the comments box below?