Housing Group Takes Down Ad That Played On Stereotypes

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A nonprofit housing group has taken down an online video ad after criticisms that it played on stereotypes of people from India.

The ad on the website of Neighborworks, a housing group serving Addison, Bennington and Rutland counties, had Vermont-based comic actor Rusty DeWees imitating someone with an Indian accent answering the phone.

It makes the point that people calling the Neighborworks Heat Squad weatherization service will be answered by a woman named Lori from West Rutland.

Some lawmakers are calling the ad demeaning to South Asians. Sen. Richard Sears, a Bennington County Democrat, says an agency getting government support should not be running ads using stereotypes.

Neighborworks executive director Ludy Biddle said the ad has been taken down, because the group doesn’t want to offend anyone.

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