the 'broad city' girls on why cultural appropriation is a bummer

Will Ilana get cornrows next season?

by Alice Newell-Hanson
05 October 2015, 4:56pm

Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer have tackled many important issues on their show Broad City: drug smuggling, Craigslist scamming, the Chinatown blackmarket, internet pornography (Kirk Steele!!!). Next on their list: cultural appropriation. At a panel during the New Yorker festival this weekend, the stoner queens told TV critic Emily Nussbaum about developing their on-screen counterparts to address the "bigger picture."

"The more the show is developed and the more distinct we become from the characters, [the more] we're writing them as a tool, we're using the characters as a tool, rather than [for] self-expression," said Ilana. And in particular, real-life Abbi and Ilana want TV Abbi and Ilana to engage with the current debate over everything from afros to bindis to Native American headdresses. The duo discussed how aspects of fictional Ilana already play with the boundaries of acceptability. She twerks; you know she's only a few dollars and a dull afternoon away from getting cornrows.

"The mainstream [consciousness] is recognizing white people appropriating [other cultures]," said Glazer, "you know, that sort of, like, Miley appropriation, where it's like, 'cool,' but mmmm, is it? So I think we play with that, but we've started to look at it and talk about it and talk at it and to it more."

Can Ilana's #1 Lil Wayne please be involved in this plot line?


Text Alice Newell-Hanson
Image via Youtube

Cultural Appropriation
Broad City
ilana glazer
Abbi Jacobson