In Tuesday night’s episode of NCIS [7×06 – “Outlaws and In-Laws”], Tony spent much of the episode teasing Ziva about becoming an American citizen. Now one could argue that he was just teasing her and it was meant to be funny, but I wasn’t laughing. His comments were racist and xenophobic, and amounted to nothing less than harassment. The worst part was no one called him on it, not even Gibbs who is usually there to give Tony a smack up-side the head when he gets out of line! I was also surprised Ziva didn’t protest but given the power imbalance I don’t think she could have said or done anything without making the situation worse. Yes she can kick Tony’s ass if she wanted to but that’s not the point.
The problem I have with this is that it’s that I don’t think that kind of behavior should ever be allowed. In addition I believe that allowing characters to get away with it in TV Shows and movies only sets up situations where people start believing it’s acceptable behavior. Remember my post about stereotypes? Remember how I said that if people see people portrayed a certain way again and again and again they may start believing it’s true? It’s the exact same thing here. If a character is behaving in a way that is inappropriate I want and expect the other characters to call them on it, EVERY TIME. I want there to be consequences for offensive comments and actions, especially if these are main characters who are suppose to be the good guys.