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TV show jokes about alcoholism among Ariz. tribes

The Associated Press, Monday, March 4, 2013, 2:46pm (PST)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona tribal members say they're shocked by a television sitcom that made fun of one of the most pervasive social ills on their reservations — alcoholism.

One of the characters on the CBS show, Mike & Molly, joked last week about drunken Indians in Arizona.

Navajo Nation spokesman Erny Zah says while alcoholism is easy to judge from the outside, the disease isn't funny. He says it can lead to assaults, break up families and instill fear in children.

Hopi tribal member Racheal Povatah says alcoholism often is tied to a history of trauma for America Indians. She says tribes struggle to find enough resources to address it.

The Native American Journalists Association says CBS should apologize.

CBS spokesman Chris Ender declined to comment Monday.

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