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“I think, you see a lot of, not just Asians but other ethnicities, being successful in comedy as opposed to drama. There aren’t a lot of… certainly I think if you look at the South Asian presence on television, a large, large majority of it is in comedy. You look at Aziz Ansari and Mindy Kaling, you look at these guys that are really breaking out, they’re doing so through comedy and I haven’t quite figured out why that is besides the fact that they are writing their own material a lot of the time which is clearly the way forward. But I think a lot of it has to do with… I would get asked to go in on sitcoms when I was first starting out and I’ve never really been a sitcom guy, I don’t particularly watch them very much but I just wanted to work so I would go in and it would really… some without more subtlety than others, in more subtle ways than others would say, “Be more Indian” or “Do it more Indian” and so I talked to my agent and said I’m not going in on sitcoms anymore because that’s not what I do and it hurt me, it definitely hurt me. Like when I first left drama school, it definitely hurt me because I just didn’t work for awhile and I was here in New York doing theater because theatre moreso than any other kind of filmed media tend to do a lot more color blind casting. And that’s not really something that is pervasive yet in film or television. But it is moving in that direction. It’s just moving at an incredibly glacial pace for my liking. - Sendhil Ramamurthy”—http://www.sendhilramamurthy.net/news/?p=118
Most of the comments I can find regarding Jai are actually pro-Sendhil and calling out how much the character was mishandled. This is soothing. I was expecting more gloating from the haters, but even the official forums are full of a) denial and b) support for Sendhil. Maybe it’s too late for CA to learn a lesson here, but I hope whoever gets to be in charge of Sendhil’s fate on a future show is paying attention.
Sure, the writers claim that they loved Jai as a character and Sendhil as an actor, but the writing tells us otherwise, as does their behaviour (now deleted) on Twitter. They could have retweeted the comments that were sad about Jai, instead of the comments celebrating the death. After Season 2, they promised Sendhil a more prominent role in season 3, and have obviously broken that promise already, so who actually believes them when they say that the death will continue to affect the other characters? People who watched the season premiere have stated that none of the characters seemed too upset and that Annie appeared to be getting over it very quickly.
Apparently, Auggie gets Jai’s job? It’s funny how everything that Jai desperately struggled to achieve, Auggie is handed on a silver platter. Yet we were always to consider Jai the privileged guy who never had to try, and Auggie the poor, disadvantaged hero. I think the writers are really, really bad at taking a step back and looking at their own work and see where their own bias comes into play.
And yes, the whole thing is so much worse because of Sendhil Ramamurthy having been the only POC on the whole show. It sends all sorts of disgusting messages that he was the one killed off, accompanied by nasty messages and jokes on Twitter, in order to spice things up for the white characters, whom the writing staff clearly considers on a higher level of being.