Aziz Ansari: Sexy As A Bollywood Movie About Elephant Gods Working In A Call Center

The Phoenix has just released its annual list of the 100 Unsexiest Men of the year, and while the list is mostly made up of people who are unquestionably unsexy (The Pope, Jay Leno, the toad from Owl City) there are a few surprises on there.

Like Aziz Ansari, 25-year old actor/comedian who plays Tom on Parks and Recreation.  He’s on the list, higher than both Justin Bieber and Steven Tyler, but his entry oddly doesn’t mention that he’s a regular on one of my favorite television programs.  It just talks about the mixtape he made with the guy from TV On The Radio.  Oh, yeah, and then it makes fun of him for having Indian parents.  Calling him “Slumdog Chamillionaire,” they go on to say that he looks like “Apu’s Vampire Weekend-loving nephew.”



In 2010, really?

Why didn’t they just come out and say that he looks just like the love child of Salman Rushdie and Indira Gandhi reading a Jhumpa Lahiri novel on the Darjeeling Limited?  In a Nehru jacket?  Listening to MIA?

The rest of the list is a mix of tasteless–fat people, ha ha–and really tasteless–the wrong Corey died, ha ha ha–but Ansari’s entry stands out as being particularly mean-spirited and weird.

On the other hand, there’s nothing like a long click-through list to generate lots of pageviews, and nothing like a ranked list to get people talking.  (Example: Sure, Sandra Bullock’s husband may have dated a neo-Nazi or whatever, but does that make him more unsexy than a creepy-looking Pope who actually was a Nazi?  And really, does Tiger Woods need to be #1?  You’re not Us Weekly, The Phoenix.)

14 thoughts on “Aziz Ansari: Sexy As A Bollywood Movie About Elephant Gods Working In A Call Center”

  1. Annie Messier

    But this isn’t just limited to Aziz Ansari. Only a few entries off from Aziz is Ahmed Karzai (brother of Hamid), who is nicknamed by the Phoenix “Pashtun Pusher-man.” In his “looks like” description, the Phoenix declares Karzai “looks like he downs his fair share of kebabs.”
    Al, I don’t see how Matthew is being “uneducated” by pointing out how stereotypes like these can be offensive. Does everyone in Afghanistan eat kabobs? Does Ansari have the same appearance as all one billion, 140 million people in India? I interpret this post as Matthew calling out the Phoenix for painting non-Americans with a broad brush instead of stating what actually strikes them as “unsexy” about that individual.

  2. Here’s how I think the whole thing came about. One of the writers came up with the phrase ‘slumdog chamillionaire’ as soon as he (or she) heard the mixtape, and has been waiting for an opportunity to use it ever since. The writer seized the opportunity to shoehorn it into the annual ‘least sexy’ issue, despite the fact that the subject does not remotely belong in this company. Bad editing.

  3. I actually think that “hapless snowflake” might be a rather accurate description of Matt. 🙂

    (great, now I owe him a beer)

  4. “It’s a fine line between clever and stupid.”
    — Nigel Tufnel

  5. …call a spade a spade.

    Whatever old Phillipus might have meant regarding the Macedonians is irrelevant in the modern context. Noted right-wing Tory kook Sir Gerald Nabarro – who wanted to expel the UK’s Caribbean immigrants – forever defined this expression as racist in intent when he famously said “I call a spade a shovel.”

  6. I’m going to sidestep the flame war, but this item deserves to be called out. Its like they were trying to put every south asian stereotype into one paragraph. Its stupid and not funny.

  7. Yawn. Deny, deflect, dismiss, disavow, derail (go google in an antiracist context), ad nauseum.

    I’m not sure how this post makes me a white privilege apologist

    D’aww. Aren’t you a hapless/disingenuous snowflake.

    Either way, you’re in dire need of some education.

  8. I don’t think I was sidestepping, necessarily, but I guess since I didn’t actually use the word racist that’s up to interpretation. I’m not sure how this post makes me a white privilege apologist, either, but again I guess you can decide that for yourself.

    I’m pretty sure, though, that both of the other posts you mention were written in the side blog, where literally anyone can write literally anything. (Depending on how you view the site, you may not notice this–side blog posts still show up in the RSS feed and the Twitter updates and they look identical to our posts.) We don’t edit those posts, which is maybe a flaw on our part, but it’s also not like we’re sending each other internal memos about trying to appear edgier and more ironic.

  9. Ansari’s entry stands out as being particularly mean-spirited and weird.

    If by “mean-spirited and weird” you mean, like, RACIST…?

    Just because PDD has failed on this front a number of times itself (moronically comparing the recent flood to the Indian Ocean tsunami and IKEA shopping to concentration camps in pathetic bids to appear edgy and ironic) doesn’t mean it needs to tiptoe around GLARING bigotry like some white privilege apologist.

    Christ, have a modicum of spine to call a spade a spade.

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