The Fat Turkish Kid Kemal

In the British comedy show outnumbered there is a kid called “fat turkish kid Kemal” whom we never see but frequently hear its name. In fact in one episode aired on Thursday, Jan 13, 2011 characters talk about this:

What racist complaint?
00:15:25 It was that kid kemal again.
00:15:27 The fat turkish kid?
00:15:27 Yeah.
00:15:28 He was stuffing his face, as per usual, in lessons, munching his way through a bag of crisps, and I said to him, purely frivolously, “you could do with ramadan lasting all year round, ” it was quite witty, really.
00:15:41 And now his dad has said that I singled him out because of his religion, and apparently I’ve traumatized him about his weight.
00:15:49 Which is down to a glandular disorder it seems, which presumably compels him to thrust pies down his throat. 

As we can see from this dialogue one of the characters wanted to show his irritation to his schoolmate by making him feel “othered”. When people want to be brutal to each other or when they want to make the other person feel down they automatically attack their differences. These differences are usually ethnic, religious or racist differences. People want to feel belonged and these differences can’t be changed. Therefore it is the most effective and violent way of being othered. Jake, the character who is making the racist comment, stereotypes all turkish people by saying they all don’t eat during the religious holiday ramadan and stuff themselves rest of the time. He is both making fun of a religious holiday and also disintegrates the overweighted kid Kemal. The “fat turkish kid” nickname of Kemal shows how he is shown as a one-dimensional character because it is shown as Kemal’s only distinguishing mark is him being turkish and fat. His personal interests, his background, his life style or anything about his personality isn’t shown to the audience. Kemal being Turkish isn’t the problem here. In fact the show “Outnumbered” displaying different characters is a good thing. However the problem in this situation is this difference is shown as a bad or humiliating thing, as a distinguishing mark. People having different religions, different ethnicities is what makes this life colourful. These differences could be use to enrich each other’s world instead of used for being othered.

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