Michael Patrick King wants to make something clear: 2 Broke Girls is not a racist show. As for all the inappropriate jokes, they're just "classy-dirty," OK?
The 2 Broke Girls creator met with reporters at CBS' winter TV previews Wednesday, during which he was asked to defend the show's ethnic stereotypes and off-color humor, particularly in scenes involving the characters with whom down-on-their luck waitresses (Kat Dennings and Beth Behrs) work at a Brooklyn diner.
"I find it comic to take everybody down," King says. "I think that our show is a big ballsy comedy, but it has a bigger heart than it has balls. It is broad and brash and very current... The big story about race on our show is that so many are represented. We sort of represent what New York used to be, which is currently still alive in [Brooklyn]."
Han, the girls' Asian boss (Matthew Moy), Oleg, a sexually aggressive Ukrainian line cook, (Jonathan Kite) and Earl, a laid-back African American cashier (Garrett Morris) are all regular targets of jokes that focus on their ethnicities. King defends these characters. "If you talk about stereotypes, every character, when it's born, is a stereotype. This show started with two stereotypes: a blonde and a brunette. Hopefully if you have the journey that everybody would like to have on a series, which is time, you get to shape the characters so they become rounded and a little bit more grounded."
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The show also regularly trades in anatomy-based humor. (Someone in the writers' room really likes saying the word "vagina.") Still, King says the comedy comes from a good place. "I consider our jokes really 'classy-dirty,'" he says. "They're high low-brow. I think they're fun and sophisticated and naughty and I think everybody likes a good naughty joke."
Do you like 2 Broke Girls' naughty jokes? Hit the comments with your thoughts.
2 Broke Girls airs Mondays at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.