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Sore point in US becomes subject of comedy show

world Updated: Sep 20, 2010 01:38 IST
Yashwant Raj

First Ohio banned it. Then President Barack Obama made his opposition to it a rally cry for economic recovery drive. Now, Americans will be expected to sit back and laugh it off.

NBC, a major US network, is launching a primetime comedy show starting Thursday called Outsourced. Here is the storyline: An American called Todd Dempsey is hired for a call centre run by a catalogue-based company. On his first day, he is the only one in office. And, of course, his boss. Todd is told the call centre has been outsourced to Mumbai.

And he can go to Mumbai and keep his job or refuse and lose it. He takes the first option. NBC has also launched a web application which, when accessed, brings the user real-life call centre experience — a phone call from a character from the show. It is supposed to be funny.

But experts and commentators are wondering if Americans will find it funny, especially those whose jobs were victims of outsourcing.

The state of Ohio banned outsourcing in August and has stuck to it despite protests, especially from India. Obama has not failed to attack outsourcing while speaking on the economy.

One commentator has called the show a “curious beast”. Another has accused the network of opting for a name bound to create a controversy.

A group on Facebook — Portest NBC’s Outsourced — has 261 members. “You creeps find this funny? How about the idea of Americans losing their homes, their families and even their lives because their jobs were outsourced or offshored. Hahaha,” says a post. Over to Thursday.