The Dudesons in America ~ Racism and Stereotyping at its Finest…and Lowest.

This is one of those times when I have mixed feelings about drawing attention to an offensive program.  This is a show that doesn’t deserve publicity or a larger audience.

But I have no choice but to call attention to the latest episode of The Dudesons in America.

The Dudesons, a television series that has been stimulating the intellect of the dumb and dumber in Finland for a decade or so, has been brought to an American audience and aptly renamed The Dudesons in America.  All this, courtesy of MTV.

MTV has not exactly been known for its quality programming, and hasn’t given anyone a compelling reason to tune into that channel since the early 80s.

With The Dudesons in America, however, MTV has sunk to an all-time low.

The episode entitled, “Cowboys & Findians” is chock-full of racial stereotyping and material so deeply offensive to Native Americans, that I believe even Andrew Jackson, who was not widely known for his deep and abiding love for the indigenous people of this country, would have been appalled.

For those of you who were fortunate enough to have missed the airing of this offensive piece of trash, I congratulate you.  But I am going to ask you to make the supreme sacrifice now.  Watch the episode.  I’ll be here when you get back.  Go…watch.

UPDATE:  MTV removed this video from its website sometime during the evening of 5/21. 

The video can be viewed in streaming format here:

and at its new host site here:




Don’t be misled or confused by the fact that the producers of this show were able to find a Native American who was willing to participate in this show.  He is but one man, and does not speak for all Native Americans.  The American Indian Movement (AIM) is asking its members and supporters — and anyone who has the sense to see this episode for the hateful, racist and stereotypical piece of trash that it is — to write to MTV and express their outrage.

I have written to MTV (at length) and have demanded that this episode never be aired again, and that a formal and public apology be offered to the Native American people.  (Those interested in reading my letter of protest can read it at the end of this post.)

If the episode is not permanently pulled from the airwaves (and internet), and an apology issued by June 1, 2010, there will be a boycott of MTV, its sponsors and affiliates.

It only takes a few minutes of your time to let MTV know how you feel.  Your opinion and voice matter.  Please get involved, and let MTV know that this kind of racial stereotyping and offensive material will not be tolerated.



Melissa Barreto
Senior Publicist, MTV

Stephanie Berman
Senior Director, MTV

Jeff Castaneda
Vice President, MTV

Janice Gatti
Director, MTV

A.J. Sarcione
Senior Publicist, MTV

American Indian Movement – Santa Barbara (



Re: The Dudesons In America /Episode #2 – “Cowboys & Findians”

Dear Sirs/Madams:

I am writing to express my disgust and outrage with regard to the episode of The Dudesons In America entitled “Cowboys & Findians.”

The cultural insensitivity, stereotyping, and blatant racism in this episode is appalling.  Shame on all of you for perpetuating the negative, hateful and erroneous stereotypes that Native Americans have fought for so many years to correct and eradicate.  Frankly, you haven’t just perpetuated stereotypes — you have gone so far as to create brand new ones.

I hesitate to provide a group of adult professionals with a history lesson, but after viewing the episode in question, it seems to me that one may be in order.  Many years of systematic slaughter, broken treaties, and unspeakable acts of brutality and callousness culminated in the forced removal and relocation of Native Americans to reservations.  This, however, was not the end of the story.  It was only the beginning.  Native Americans were not only forced to give up their ancestral homelands, but their very identities.  They were robbed by force of their traditions, their culture, their spirituality, their languages, and everything that was sacred to them.  Their children were taken away from their families, and were sent to government-run boarding schools, where they were beaten, brainwashed, and stripped against their will of everything that defined them.  This is not ancient history we are referring to — as of the 1970s, tens of thousands of Native American children were still attending those schools.

It is only in more recent years that Native Americans have truly felt the societal freedom to once again wholeheartedly embrace their traditions, culture, languages, and all that was once part of the sacred fabric of their lives.  Ironically enough, many non-Natives have at the same time become utterly fascinated with Native American culture.  Over the last two decades or so, Native American music, culture, spirituality (and any and all things Native American or Native-related) have become “trendy” with non-Natives.  This has been a double-edged sword for the Native American people.

On the one hand, this shift in American thinking has, in some ways, fostered a reawakening of Native American pride, and has allowed a more open embracing of the traditions, culture, and language that the people were, for so many years, wrongfully denied.  But the downside is obvious.  Native Americans are now witnessing yet another wholesale American theft: that of their traditions, languages, and spirituality, by non-Natives who often distort, bastardize, misconstrue, and even those who attempt to make a profit.  In the case of your program, the distortion and bastardization of Native American culture has been taken to new lows, as it was done in a manner of mockery and complete disrespect.

The episode “Cowboys & Findians” stands apart in terms of stereotyping and racism.  You have sent a negative and hateful message to millions of people.  But I ask you: would you even attempt to parody an African tribe in such a manner?  I think not.  The backlash from the NAACP, the media, and public at large would be immediate and powerful.  What you fail to recognize is that it is no less unacceptable to portray Native Americans in such a light.

We all know that racism is wrong — in any form.  But there is much more to this than cultural sensitivity.  To willfully mock and distort the traditions, culture, and spirituality of Native Americans — when they have only recently fully reclaimed the very identities that were forcibly robbed from them not so very long ago — isn’t only politically incorrect and insensitive, it is simply inexcusable.  The fact of the matter is this: as long as the “stereotypical Indian” is portrayed on the screen, in print, or any other form of media, the general and largely uninformed public will, on some level, believe those stereotypes to be true — or at the very least, will continue to fail to recognize that they themselves are perpetuating racism.

As you may or may not be aware, this week marks a precedent-setting event in Native American history.  On Wednesday, May 19, 2010, the United States Congress offered a formal apology to representatives of five Native American tribes, for the “ill-conceived policies” and acts of violence and atrocities committed against the Native American people.  It is an apology that was long overdue.  Can you recognize the irony in the timing of the broadcast of this hate-filled and racist television program, when the U.S. Government itself is seeking to make amends for the incalculable wrongs that it committed?

Interestingly enough, the MTV website ( states the following, in part:

“At MTV Networks, we like to use our powers for good. Our award-winning pro-social initiatives – which raise awareness about important social, educational, health, environmental and other current issues – as well as our partnerships with leading nonprofit organizations, are an integral part of the work we do every day. We’re proud to champion the causes that matter to our audiences and their communities. Check out our pro-social campaigns below and find out how MTV Networks walks the walk when it comes to giving back.” [emphasis added]

The damage has already been done, and it cannot be undone.  But, as MTV has stated within its own website, you can use your powers for good.  You have the power to make things right.  You have the power to raise awareness about important social issues — and I can’t think of a more important issue than the present one for you to address and rectify.

Nothing short of a formal and public apology to the Native American people should be forthcoming at this point.  This heinous and hateful episode should never again be aired in any format, whether on television, the internet, DVD compilations, or elsewhere.  This is an episode that rightfully belongs on a dark, dusty shelf in your Hall of Shame, and it should remain there forever.

You should be aware that this matter is being taken very seriously.  You have outraged and offended many people.  A non-response — or the wrong response — will invariably result in the immediate and indefinite boycott of MTV, as well as all its advertisers and affiliates.  If the episode is not permanently removed from public view and an apology issued by June 1, 2010, the boycotting will begin.

The world is watching.  Do the right thing.


Jennifer Yuhas-Gall


25 comments on “The Dudesons in America ~ Racism and Stereotyping at its Finest…and Lowest.

  1. Pauline (Lake) Kerwath says:

    Excellent, hard-hitting and accurate. Thank you, Jennifer.

  2. It is weaker than the old kind, class, but it is still racism all the same. Opie Communication

  3. Catmanhunting says:

    I’ve not seen the episode in question; in fact I’ve not seen -anything- on MTV since, oh…the early 80s. Would I be offended by the episode? Probably not: I’m far more offended by the mis-use (and misspelling) of my nation’s name on everything from tire stores to Jeeps.

  4. Thank you, Jennifer! Excellent write up and brilliant, scathing letter to MTV. Good to see you in the fray!

  5. AIM-West says:

    well said. well done.

  6. Joni says:

    This is one of those times when I have mixed feelings about people. This is a blog no one should read as it full of lies, misinterpretations and idiotism.

    With this blog the writer has sunk to an all-time low.

    The blog entitled “The Dudesons in America ~ Racism and Stereotyping at its Finest…and Lowest.” is a cock-full of labeling of people and underestimating the viewers intelligence that it is offensive to any reader.

    For those of you who were fortunate enough not to read the blog, please don’t read it. But if you really really really have to read it. Go… read.

    Don’t be mislead that the author of the blog has actually managed to gather a group of people alike to participate in the useless rant. They are several people but they don’t speak for all people on earth.

    I have written to MTV (at length) and have demanded that all the content of the network should be edited so that every time before a joke blank screen appears saying “there will be a joke in 5 seconds” after which a countdown from 5 to 0 will appear. After the joke there should be another message telling the wievers that it was only a joke, there is no reason to be offended by it.

    I mean could somebody really think that grown up men with toyguns bought from walmart, pretending to be first ever Finnish Native Americans, are being serious?

    If the blog is not permanently pulled from the internet, I will not read her blogs anymore.

    It only takes a few minutes of your time to let the author of the blog know how you feel. Your opinion and voice matter.

    Btw sorry if I misspelled some words, I’m not a native English speaker, it is only my 3rd language.

    PS. I’m just kidding don’t hate me 😦

    • jennifer1119 says:

      I don’t hate you, Joni. You’re entitled to your opinion — even if it’s wrong. 🙂

    • Rob Schmidt says:

      Joni, here’s a posting that explains why racist jokes are racist as well as jokes:

      Read it and learn.

      • Joni says:

        “Below: Stupid stereotypes, or satires? How do you know which is which? Show me the evidence that the creators intended or didn’t intend to “satirize” our perceptions of Indians. Hint: If you can’t prove the creators’ intent beyond a reasonable doubt, you lose the argument.”

        This line is from an interview with Jukka
        “With the spirit of the show and how we are, we never make fun of anyone except ourselves.”

        So what do I win?

        You are also begging the question several times. You can’t come up with an assumption and later use it to prove your point. It is false logic.

        And when it comes to South Park, episode 2 of season 14, watch it and learn.

  7. Dvd Players says:

    Not to mention it is completely different to compare American racism with historical racism, ours is different. Dvd Players

  8. Rob Schmidt says:

    Minstrel shows were meant to be fun, lighthearted entertainment too, Josh. Are you in favor of people dressing up in blackface and pretending to be buffoonish blacks? I hope not, because that would make you a racist.

    For more on the subject, see:

  9. Gerald Racks says:

    America has about another two more steps to go before racism is dead and gone and being black in America becomes no worse than being, say, Jewish. Gerald Racks

  10. Hi Jennifer, I want to thank you for your wonderful letter, my name is Alessandro Profeti, I live in Italy and I’m the owner, with my wife, of Nativi, the italian Blog in support of the Native Americans.
    I agree with the AIM S. Barbara appeal and I also invite my readers to write to MTV against this serious episode of racism, and I wanted to use a few paragraphs of your letter to suggest to my readers what they send to MTV. I hope you do not mind, I mentioned your blog and your name. Excuse me for my don’t perfect english. Thanks again
    Alessandro, Italy

  11. jennifer1119 says:

    It’s nice to meet you, Alessandro! Thank you very much for your kind words and your support — I am grateful to you for letting your readers know about this issue. I will be updating my blog very shortly with information about the next phrase of the protest: the boycott against MTV’s advertisers. And as always, you can encourage your readers to visit any of the AIM Facebook pages for the latest information about this protest, as well as many other issues and causes. Again, thank you for your support.

  12. Steffen says:

    It seems like the only ones who can make fun with a culture is the ones who are the culture and ofcourse always ok to make fun of white people no matter which culture you from. All cultures do that and i dont care. Also hit up the word racist before spreding out. Racism is the belief that race is the …primary determinant of human traits and …
    Vis merecapacities and that racial differences produce
    an inherent superiority of a particular race. In the case of
    institutional racism, certain racial groups may be denied rights or benefits, or get preferential treatment. I cant see any way that they have done any of above in that episode so not racist. If you by your own way defination find it racist is useless, since it wasn’t racist. So from what you say I should be piss every time a stand up person who is not white makes fun of a white person and what we do and then call it racist, if it air on Comedie Central etc? What was so offensiv in that show and where did they attack your race, please point it out for me, they are only making fun of them self. I understand what your race has been going thru in historie and I personal belive that you should have it all back, but please also remeber that if you would get all of the land back would you then kick out all the white. black and latino etc of race living in your country?. Please look at this and please get all amaricans who have vote for the presidents in this priode (you have probely also vote for one Obama is also doing this) to appoligze for what your country has done to the world. Since 1945 the United States has attempted to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments it disagree with, in the process the US has caused the end of life for several million inconcent people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair. This is a 1000 times more importen issue than 4 fins who truely do not have had any attention to be racist and also after the definition of racist has not been. Defention of hypoctrite : 1.
    a person who pretends to have virtues, moral or religious beliefs, principles, etc., that he or she does not actually possess, esp. a person whose actions belie stated beliefs.
    “Sorry for my bad english ofcourse”

  13. jennifer1119 says:

    Your comment is not only a lengthy one, but touches upon a variety of issues that are completely off-topic. This blog isn’t about colonialism, U.S. foreign policy, or whether or not I voted for Obama. (I didn’t, by the way. Although I consider myself far more of a Democrat than a Republican, I wasn’t crazy about either party. I abstained from voting altogether…my non-vote was one of conscience, because I couldn’t in good conscience endorse either party.) But this is neither here nor there, and, as I said, entirely off topic. We can discuss U.S. foreign policy and Obama another day, if you like. I have a feeling that we would find common ground and a lot of agreement on quite a few of the topics you raised.

    You seem to be fairly assured in your opinion that the episode wasn’t racist, because you go on at length not only describing what racism is, but what it is NOT.

    I would like to point out that in this particular Dudesons episode, the plot (if you can call it as much) is centered around what one needs to do to “become an Indian.” Quite obviously, the only thing that someone can “do” to “become” an Indian is to be BORN one. You do not become an Indian by lining up a row of poles, toppling them over like dominos, and allowing them to land….um, well, where they landed.

    So…really? You can’t see how people might be offended by the suggestion that all one needs to do to “become an Indian” is go through and pass a series of ridiculous and slapstick “tests”??

    You can’t see how Native Americans would be oh, just slightly offended by the statement that “Native Americans catch fish with their mouths”??

    The Dudesons are not, nor will they likely ever be, honorary members of any tribe, despite the fact that they were given Golden Eagle feathers. (Or at least feathers that were supposed to be Golden Eagle feathers.) This is probably one of the most offensive aspects of the episode — Golden Eagle feathers are illegal for anyone, other than tribal members, to possess. Whether or not they were real eagle feathers is besides the point…the mere symbolism and distortion of Native spirituality is offensive in and of itself.

    Incidentally, and only because you made reference several times in your comment about this being an issue concerning “my race,” I would like to point out that I am not Native American. Nope, not a single drop of Native blood. My ancestors were immigrants who arrived from Eastern Europe in the late 1890s…Ellis Island people. So…this isn’t at all a matter of me defending my heritage. (I think that “heritage” is a more appropriate and fitting term than “race,” by the way.)

    So alas, no, as proud as I would be to claim Native heritage, this is not a cause that I am fighting because I am a member of a tribe, or because I have Native blood running through my veins, or because I am avenging the wrongs done to “my people.” I am involved in this cause for one reason: despite the completeness of my Eastern European heritage, I can nevertheless STILL recognize the inherent wrongness of it all. Common sense, empathy, and standing up to something or someone that is wrong isn’t at all exclusionary — these are traits that are readily available to all members of the HUMAN race.

    Racism, on the other hand, seems to be a bit more prevalent to some more than it is to others. I’ll leave it to you to puzzle over that one.

  14. Hanna Toiminen says:

    Dear Jennifer,

    I have never been more ashamed about my culture that what I am now. Those idiots from Finland ruins our reputation everywhere they choose to land.
    That show has never been funny and will never be. It is offencive and rude.
    Those morrons didnt think. it´s just that simple. They are so good exampes what happens when there is more money than brains. please, dont think that all finnish people are like them and share their point of wiews. We do not!!!!!!
    best wishes

  15. AIM SB says:

    Great Blog Jennifer- Thank you!
    The episode of the The Dudesons In America, called “Cowboys and Findians,”not only encourages people to have misconceptions about First Nation people, but also perpetuates very offensive stereotypes regarding Native American spirituality, ceremonies, culture and customs.

    Had this show been directed towards any other ethnic group, it would not have aired, and there would have been a huge backlash. And some people would have lost their jobs over it. Yet it appears we are an “open market” – for these kind attacks, apparently because we are a smaller population and there is a history this kind of misrepresentation with the media and entertainment industry. This kind of abuse, disrespect will no longer be tolerated.

    As for the lame idiot,”theguywhoisalwaysright” that keeps posting on your blog, We hope he finds something really constructive to do, perhaps a nap or something of the likes-

  16. Jean D'Arc says:

    to Jennifer: Well said, excellente! To the guy who is always right: right back atcha, loser.

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