“Hey, look it’s the Grouch!”, uttered from a child on the “Sesame Street” children’s program (The Grouch, “Sesame Street”). This character, the Grouch, is green and smelly that lives in a garbage can on the side of the road. Many viewers see the Grouch as a homeless individual on Sesame Street. On the show, this character has an ill nature and seems to be upset at everyone (The Grouch, “Sesame Street”). Many of the characters on the show criticize the Grouch for his rude behavior and some avoid him due to fear. This character, the Grouch, does not work nor does he have a stable family. He lives his days in an old garbage can alone and miserable. Many viewers by popular belief feel that the Grouch is lazy and unmotivated to change his lifestyle. This type of message that the homeless are lazy is synonymous in the American culture. Many Americans view the members of the members of homeless community as addicts, outrageous drunks, and inadaptable to adjust to society due to their lack of motivation.
World reunion comedian, author, and director Dave Chappelle regularly pokes fun at homeless individuals in his comedy routines. On his show titled “Chappelle’s Show”, Chappelle did a sketch about an instance where he had saw a homeless man sitting on the bus stop and compared that homeless man to the Grouch from Sesame Street (Chappelle at the Bus Stop, “Chappelle’s Show”). In his routine Chappelle emphasized how homeless people are grouchy, cranky, and “lazy old bums that can not do much” (Chappelle at the Bus Stop, “Chappelle’s Show”), For the American audience this image and message being portrayed further reinforces the concept that homeless people are lazy.
Another popular television show th...
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...ss man looked dangerous”, “I thought he was asleep”, and “I did not know what to do?” (Homeless Man Falls, What Would You Do). Through this social experiment one can easily see and foretell how negative stereotypes portrayed in media shaped and influenced the pedestrians view of the homeless man.
With the prevalence of media’s image of homeless people, everyday Americans have rationalized homeless people as lazy, unmotivated, and “grouchy” individuals. American television shows targeted to young children such as “Sesame Street” has also incorporated stereotypical dialogue regarding homeless individuals such phrases as “grouch”. Furthermore politicians see homeless people as dead-end citizens that cannot be changed. Overall, the stereotypes regarding homeless people paint a picture of individuals as being hopeless, lazy, and incompetent members of society.
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