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A Brown Comedian, A Late Night Talk Show And Amazon’s Exploitation

A Brown Comedian, A Late Night Talk Show And Amazon’s Exploitation

Fatima Ahmad

If you’re an avid television watcher then you’re probably well aware of the late night comedy show culture in the West with top hosts including Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman entertaining audiences every week. However, majority of these hosts are white, with very little racial diversity. Well thanks to Netflix, Hassan Minhaj is the first Indian-American (read: brown guy!) to host a weekly comedy series.

‘Patriot Act’, which just released its third episode, focuses on Minhaj discussing the political climate and current events in a light manner. You could say that the series is not really a late night talk show but more of an ‘infotainment’ show, a word used by critics to describe television channels which present information in an entertaining manner.

Just a few days before the ‘Patriot Act’ was launched, Netflix released a ten-minute video featuring Hassan and ‘Queer Eye’ star Tan France, an American Pakistani, who selected outfits for Hassan that he could wear on his new show. The video was an instant hit because it showed an Indian and a Pakistani candidly having a conversation on desi topics such “tel maalish” (oil massage) and white people’s inability to pronounce desi names. The bonding session of the two attracted a huge desi audience, thus promoting the debut series.

The latest episode of the ‘Patriot Act with Hassan Minhaj’ focused on the comedian questioning Amazon’s business practices. Amazon has recently crossed one trillion in net worth, becoming one of the handful companies to ever do so. Minhaj discussed how Amazon had transformed into a corporation that can easily monopolize the digital market. He further explained how the US laws were inadequate to prevent monopoly in this particular industry. The host also talked about Amazon’s exploitation of its employees in forms of low wages, anti-union attitude, firing employees on the suspicion of unionizing and deplorable working conditions. Minhaj stuck to discussing Amazon’s commerce business only and didn’t go on to address the streaming-content wars between Amazon and Netflix.

Watch the full episode below:


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