Diedrich Bader sounds downright shocked when told of commentary, on TV.com and other sites, accusing his forthcoming NBC “Outsourced” comedy of racist stereotyping — based on the show’s trailers and promos. The series has Ben Rappaport as the manager of a call processing center recently outsourced to Mumbai, India, for a U.S. novelty company.
“What? The stereotypes are office stereotypes,” responds the former “Drew Carey Show” actor. “There’s the boy who wants to get laid, the assistant manager who wants to be manager. They’re personalities everyone recognizes. The point is, the guy goes all the way to India and finds it’s the same office, just stranger food.”
In fact, referring to merchandise shown on the series as such as cheese wedge hats and “jingle boobs,” he points out, “The idea of seeing us through our cultural detritus — the show easily satirizes us through our novelties, our stuff, what amuses us, what we enjoy. It’s the Americans who should be worried.”
Bader notes that because his character, Charlie, “is so removed from the Indian experience, I stayed apart from the Indian actors while we were making the pilot by design. It wasn’t until the upfronts (new season presentations) that we hung out together as a cast. These guys are the friendliest guys in the world. The guy who plays Manmeet (Sacha Dhawan) is hilarious. I loved to see how they brought the script alive. It’s going to be so much fun. I can’t wait to get to work.” They start shooting in August.
“Pairing our show with ‘The Office’ on Thursday nights is perfect,” Bader adds.
Bader has been focusing on voice work (like the cartoon “Batman”) and series guest roles in recent years. He recalls wrapping the short-lived “Center of the Universe” when he and his wife “had a brand new kid and another kid on the way. I was really missing something. I wanted to take some time to be with my family.” He was ready to jump back into the series game by the time he talked to former “Drew Carey” writer Robert Borden about “Outsourced.” Borden is now executive producer on “Outsourced” along with Ken Kwapis. We suggest they, and NBC, batten down their hatches at premiere time.