• Nonprofit housing group’s ad draws fire
     | March 19,2013

    MONTPELIER — A Vermont nonprofit housing group is being criticized for a video promoting its weatherization service that some say plays on stereotypes of people from India.

    The ad on the website of Neighborworks, a housing group serving Rutland and Bennington counties, has 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 was not immediately available for comment.

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