‘Hardcore Pawn’ REVIEW…blatantly reinforces offensive stereotypes!

“HARDCORE PAWN”  is a new show on TruTv about a pawnshop in Detroit that seems to be the size of a football field.   It is run by a guy named Les Gold, his son Seth and a few other family members. There are lots of employees scattered about that appear to be missing a chromosone or two and a troop of burly black security guards whose job it is to throw out any customer that gets out of hand – which appears to be every other patron. 

There’s a bunch of inisiduous stuff going on here, but  if you are acually dopey enough to watch this monstrosity, it most probably will go over your head. To my eyes, racism and stereotypes abound in this exploitative mess.  Let’s see if any of these scenarios set off any alarms in your head.

In one episode an African guy is haggling with Les Gold – playing up some twisted caricature of a money-lending Jew – about the price of a ring.  The guy gets enraged and Gold has him carted out like a kicking and screaming maniac.  Gold then sneers into the camera and  says something to the effect that the guy will cool off and eventually come back and accept the lowball offer.

Sneaky, eveil Shakespearean Shylock creature. 

In another episode, a women brings in a gynecologists examining table. Gold’s daughter buys it for $50.00 but is criticized by her father for doing so because he thinks it’s useless. A short while later another black man comes in looking for a table. Gold sells him that one for $200.00 and says, “That’s a great deal, you’ll never get another deal like that in your life.” The gullibly smiling urban customer  buys it and smiles because the nice pawnbroker got him a good deal. Then he proudly George Jefferson struts over to the pay window. 

Are you following me here? Evil Jew screws over less intelligent minority.

I call this the worst show on television for so many reasons. 

The customers are predominantly African-American (85% as far as I could see) and the pawn brokers are Jewish.  The area is very Detroit poor and surrounded by casinos. They claim to get 700 customers per day so the place looks like your local DMV–  but the  lines of mostly minorities going up to windows are there to pawn their stuff — not to get a new car registration. 

They even had an episode about an older, flashy gentleman, (probably broke) who kept coming back to pawn more and more of his bling as he lost more and more at the casinos. They joked with him and laughed with the old man like he was some kind of character, which he was, but they took his money and acted as though they were concerned about his gambling habit. If they were so concerned, why didn’t they just refuse to take his stuff? 

Even the scummiest bartender knows when to stop pouring drinks for somebody.

It isn’t shown outwardly, but there are moments in this show where you are led to believe that the customer was lied to and cajoled into an easy deal. It’s not done outwardly, but it’s implied.  

For example,  a young – again – African American guy takes his pawn ticket to the clerk and she gives him $155.00.  He asserts that an associate broker in the store told him $255.00. He looks down and sees that the ticket is $155.00. So now the guy is going to leave but Gold counters with and offer again of $155.00. Do you see something sneaky about this? It looked almost like a routine or a pinch the pawnbroker pulls on people. I am not saying that this is what happened, but it sure looked like it. 

Now, you could never write or pitch a movie with this subject theme. This show recreates and enforces the worst stereotypes you could ever conjure up.  It makes Tony and Carmella Soprano look like Ward and June Cleaver.

Les Gold and his son are often merciless and kind of mean — but they smile and take the money and pat people on the back and call them “brother” or “my man.”  Granted they are dealing with people who often try to hustle them with lies and tales of woe, but Les Gold is portrayed as the most sickening and phony and slimy creature that TV has ever offered the world — and they call this reality — is Les Gold that loathsome in real life? 

The customers featured for the show, and culled from the miles of videotape, are mostly black characters taken out of a 1930s movie,  or else they are  gangstuhs from a violent ghetto rap movie. 

Okay, so they say this is reality TV, but do we REALLY need to see this?  If somebody told me that this was a KKK propaganda TV show I would believe it.

Any kid who watches this show will think that Jewish people are sinister liars who make their living by exploiting poor blacks in low income neighborhoods because that’s essentially ALL that happens in this show.  

People who already have these stereotypical opinions about African Americans and Jews will feel vindicated in their thinking. Marlon Brando is not alive to see on the screen what he complained about to Larry King. I think if Marlon Brando saw this show he might change his tune.

This show should be taken off the air immediately. It’s not ‘real’ TV…it’s just BAD TV — very bad.   



Check out Damien’s incredible blog ‘The Damien Zone’ for insightful and genuinely funny commentary on the absurdities of the day!

58 Comments for “‘Hardcore Pawn’ REVIEW…blatantly reinforces offensive stereotypes!”

  1. Starbuck

    Gilbert is right… I too worked in a Black neighborhood… (Harlem, NY) my uncles told me when I came and left
    the workplace to always walk near the curb.. to prevent assault… The blacks are for the most part completely racist, in NY 75% of the teenagers hate the white people and would not hesitate to join in an attack on Whitey… Obama is just throwing gasoline on the fire of race relations.. he opens his big mouth and is usually proven wrong…

  2. George

    Fake or not (it’s not fake, check Yelp), it’s entertaining to see stereotypes.

    I know that stereotypes are wrong, but let’s face it. There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of people who follow stereotypes. That’s just the American way of life.

  3. MobileTechy

    thank you for pointing out that the show is racist against black americans .. but, i knew he was a jewish boy the minute i saw the big gorillas dudes and his ‘know nothing’ son.

    finally a creditable journalist pointing out how jewish boys promote nasty ways of doing business against black americans

  4. John Lee

    Yeah, I sure have something to say about this ridiculous show! First, I know the Gold’s are Jewish. Second, I know the location is inner city Detroit. Lastly, it is a pawn shop. So whether or not you people out there are racists, Jewish, white, black, uneducated, geniuses, aliens, homeless, live in a palatial estate, stereotypical, or a combination of. Stereotypes exist, and if it’s say, pure coincidence that 1 and 1 =2, then so be it. It doesn’t make you a racist is you know how to add. This show is a pure exploitation of all. If this pawn shop didn’t have a tv show, they would still be the same greedy, selfish, hyppocritical, double standard people. The Gold’s are in fact predators. What’s more embarrassing is that they want to publicize their character and hence further fuel people’s stereotypes. I find it sad that they have no pride whatsoever and don’t realize how they behave amongst each other and especially to others. Yet they justify this arrogance cause they have more money? Hmmmm? Yes, Detroit is an economic center of chaos. People are desperate, and it so happens that the Gold’s set up shop some time ago in an area that is now predominantly African American. These people have it tough. Often times it’s either steal or sell what I have. The problem is that the Gold’s can buy anything, but their customer base can’t afford market value so they have to buy thing’s at a price that is never fair and the seller has to succomb to the ridiculous offers. At least on Pawn Stars the guys are honest and bring in real experts and give the seller a true market price and it’s a win win. There’s no dishonesty cause it’s all on camera. But the pawn stars guys have a much different demographic. But I’m willing to bet if you put the Gold’s in Vegas, they don’t change-GUARANTEED. I do feel bad that most of the people in Detroit are getting ripped off. And the behavior of some of the people is not socially warranted at any time anywhere. But in all fairness, the Gold’s behavior is more repulsive. They’re are the ones that are educated. They are the ones that have had priveliged lives. They are the ones with the $$$$ right? So in the end THEIR behavior is the most apaulling aspect of the show. They swim in the same Detroit water as everyone else. Breathe the same air, see the same horizon. The Gold’s are the true bottom feeders. They disgust me. Not because they’re jewish, but because they’re greedy predators. Les is a greasy, old shylock. Seth is a funny looking guy who tries to be professional in his little world cause he would never make it outside of that shop, and by the way-looks like a monkey with those ears of his. Ashley, well, hmmmm, let’s just say she would be a perfect dieter’s aid. She is like the human version of antabuse. An alcoholic takes antabuse, drinks a beer and then gets deathly ill. I’m sure if you were around Ashley, you too would get deathly nauseous. The facts are the facts and the show represents this every week, and the Gold’s see nothing wrong with this cause they make money. Hey, so be it! Lol

  5. John

    Stereotypes are dumb. I personly know a few people who are millionairs (give or take) and some of them are cheap and and some aren’t. Remember just because someone is cheap doesn’t nessercerly mean they’re not generous.

    I knew a alcoholic herion addict who was semi homless a didn’t shower. He was on of the nicest people I’ve ever met. If you needed help or even wanted his last beer, he would give it to you.

  6. Silvana Moore

    People for God sakes stop with the racist CRAP! No one is holding a gun to the heads of the black people in this show. They willingly come in and do their thing. Jews are known to be smart with money, I’m smart with money, is that a crime? If you aren’t bright enough to know when you’re being had, then guess what there is always someone out there who will take advantage of you. My suggestion, smarten up!

  7. JoAnn

    I can’t agree with you more!! It sickens me the way he cheats customers. The recent show where a young woman came in to pawn her grandmother’s “stones”is an excellent example of this theivery. One of the stones was a Bernese Ruby. Les had a gemologist come in and look at the stones she had … he asked him what the Bernese Ruby was worth, but, they cut out what the appraiser said. (BTW, why do they need someone else when he and his daughter are certified whatever?). The gem was large and they offered her $10K. I did some research on-line and just a 4 karat Bernese Ruby is worth upwards of $60K … and this stone could have been larger than 4K. I agree, this show fuels whatever prejudices one may lean to and victimizes those people who are truly looking for a fair deal on their items. The reason people need/want this money is immaterial … the whole show sickens me and I won’t watch it again. Disgusting, disgusting, disgusting. I wouldn’t buy anything at a pawn shop because I would feel that the item was probably “stolen” from someone in dire straights.

  8. RJS

    It’s Jewish jerks like the greedy Golds, that give the rest of us a nasty name. I’m from Detroit, and I ditched that dump decades ago. Les Gold could compete with Paul Teutul, for “Arrogant Asshole of the Year” award. BTW: If you’re so successful, schmuck, why don’t you have a hair transplant, buy better jewelry, and wear an expensive leather jacket? You look like you own a cruddy car lot, and shop at the Goodwill bargain bin. Simpering Seth: you need to “come outta the closet,” and Awful Ashley: you need nice lessons. Basically, the Golds are a dysfunctional, f**ked up family. I wouldn’t have a bagel brunch with the bunch of ‘em – even for big bucks.

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