'Broad City' Checks Ilana's Cultural Appropriation

Ilana from Broad City likes to think of herself as politically correct, but anyone who has watched the show knows that Ilana can't help but be offensive despite herself. Yeah, she may be a feminist and have a fluid sexuality, but Ilana on Broad City is occasionally guilty of cultural appropriation. And, in the Mar. 9 episode "Rat Pack," she got some tough love about her imperfections from her roommate Jaime — and herself.

The real women behind Broad City , Ilana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson, are modern-day feminist icons, but Ilana on the series is just aspiring to be the most open-minded person around. Unfortunately, the eccentric Ilana ("eccentric" is truly an understatement) falls short of that goal, which she realized through her battle against a rat in her home. After she released Jellicle the bodega cat at her party to capture the rat, Ilana realized that not all cats are the scheming Tom-types of Tom and Jerry. "Oh my god, the media, reducing even cats to a stereotype," Ilana reflected. "See, I have to remember that I am the problem."

While the portrayal of cats in the media isn't actually a problem that needs major fixing (though I may beg to differ since cats definitely get the shaft compared to dogs), it was some admirable self-reflection by Ilana. But, the real heartfelt feedback about Ilana's actions and comments came via her roomie Jaime, who found new sense of honesty after a Harry and David gift basket was accidentally delivered to their apartment (as you do).

Although Ilana strives for PCness, Jaime let her know (while he was dealing with her bacne) that she has a inclination for cultural appropriation, specifically with her Latina hoop earrings. In a rare moment of sincerity, mixed with the Broad City-approved right amount of the bizarre, the Jaime told her, "It's almost like you are stealing the identity from people who fought hard for it against colonial structures."

Glazer and Jacobsen actually talked about cultural appropriation during the New Yorker Festival’s Broad City Panel and how they planned on bringing it up on their show. "Cultural appropriation is a bummer," Glazer said, according to Vulture. "It’s not cool. It’s OK to point it out and for it to not be cool in the show.”

Along with the cultural appropriation and telling her to get her clothes out of the oven, Jaime also asked Ilana to delete her Grindr profile since she's not a gay man. Ilana could not emotionally deal with not being able to see penises within a mile of her. Yet, progress is progress and maybe Ilana will think twice before she wears those earrings again ... and then start yelling at other white people how they are guilty of appropriation, in true Ilana style. Which is what I want from her — to be on the right side of the PC battle with her own unique brand of charisma.

Images: Comedy Central (2)