Better Off Ted (2009–2010): Season 1, Episode 4 - Racial Sensitivity - full transcript

Veridian comes up with an extremely insensitive solution to a problem with its motion sensors that do not detect black people, and Ted finds out that Linda now has a boyfriend who is extremely likable.

There's Linda.

Things have been a little awkward...

since we kissed and I told her
I couldn't be with her.

Actually, the kiss was a bit awkward too.

And clanky.

- Hi.
- Hello.

Listen, I hope things are okay
with us since we're not gonna...

you know, be together.

You mean you're not getting on the elevator?

You know what I mean.
It just can't happen for us right now.

But I think you are a great person.
And I know you are gonna find someone-

- Ted, this is my boyfriend, Don.
- Hey.

That was fast.

It's nice to meet you, Ted.

And you're right. Linda is a great person.

Ted, we didn't go anywhere.
This is the same floor.

I know. I like this one.

Lem, you ever get the feeling
the ooplasm cultures are looking up at you...

worshipping you like a vengeful god?

No. Cytoplasm cultures sometimes,
but never ooplasm.

Sometimes you are
a complete stranger to me.

Coffee? I think there's still
some of the fancy stuff...

the company got us for Christmas
instead of bonuses.

You mean, got you for Christmas.

'Cause you were too scared to tell them
they left you off the gift list.

Look, I don't need any coffee.
I'm sorry I'm not the alpha male you are.

Ooplasm. That's crazy.

Did you put hydrochloric acid in this mug?

Oh, yeah.
I was trying to get the stains out.

You know, soap would work, and it wouldn't
kill someone if they accidentally drank it.

But soap leaves a film.


Motion sensors, I'm motioning.

I'm motioning.

Please sense me.


Tastes like cinnamon, hazelnut
and just a hint of hydrochloric acid.

It gets dark whenever you leave the room.

Oh, now how can I stay mad at you
when you say things like that?

Who's that incredibly handsome guy
with Gidget over there?

Uh, that's Don, Linda's formerly ex-,
currently current boyfriend.

You're still hung up on her, aren't you?

No, I'm not. I'm the one
that didn't want to get involved.

I can't, because my daughter really likes her,
and Linda talks about taking off one day.

That's exactly what Rose's mom did.
So I can't run the risk of that happening-

Stop. I need to be out
of this conversation by tomorrow.

Oh, uh, one other thing.
Lem mentioned that there's...

something weird going on
with the motion sensors in the lab.

Oh, yeah. We replaced
all the sensors in the building...

with a new state-of-the-art system
that's gonna save money.

It works by detecting light
reflected off the skin.

- Well, Lem says it doesn't work at all.
- Lem's wrong.

It does work. Although there is a problem.

It doesn't seem to see black people.

- The system doesn't see black people?
- I know. Weird, huh?

That's more than weird, Veronica.
That's basically, well, racist.

The company's position is that
it's actually the opposite of racist...

because it's not targeting black people,
it's just ignoring them.

They insist the worst people
can call it is "indifferent. "

Well, they know it has to be fixed, right?

Please? At least say they know that.

Of course they do. And they're working on it.

In the meantime, they'd like to remind
everyone to celebrate the fact...

that it does see Hispanics, Asians,
Pacific Islanders and Jews.

Oh, great. She saw me looking at her.

Now she's gonna think
I'm hung up on her, which I'm not.

Oh, man. She saw me doing it again.

Now I have to go over there and show her
I'm cool with her and... Don.

I'm not gonna play
racquetball with you. You'll win.

- Not if you distract me.
- I'm not flashing you again.

That was a one-time deal because
I forgot to get you a birthday present.

Oh, Ted, you remember Don, my boyfriend.

Of course.
You hold a hell of an elevator door.

There's a lot more to him than that, Ted.

He's funny, smart, speaks French-

- Say something in French, Don.
- Non.

Oh, that was French and funny...

in one syllable, which makes it smart.

Do you want to play racquetball with him?
He'll kick your ass.

You play? Because I just got back into town
and I don't have a partner.

Except in bed.
Go on.

I don't want you to feel like you have to.

No. No, no. I'll play.
j'adore le racquetball, Don.

So we got the children's hospital
all set up and running.

I left Liberia and went to Paris.

Uh, Linda and I went there
the first time we were together.

And we found this vendor who makes
the most amazing chocolate crepes.

She loved 'em so much, I got the recipe so I
could make 'em for her when we got back home.

It turned out Don
was really a good guy. Linda was right.

He was funny and smart.

And for some reason, he could name
every freshwater fish in North America.

Plus he once played miniature golf
with Tiger Woods.

Good morning, Lem.
You're here bright and early.

- No. I was here all night.
- Really?

Sweet. You single guys.
Wish I could spend all night in the lab.

I wasn't in the lab all night
because I'm single.

I was stuck here because I'm black
and a door wouldn't open for me.

What? Why didn't you call Security?

I did. Spoke to Lamont. Nice guy.
He spent the night trapped in his kiosk.

This is ridiculous.
You have to talk to Veronica.

- I'm going to.
- No, I mean, you really have to.

- I'm going to.
- No, you won't.

Yes, I might.

You have to stand up
for yourself this time.

This isn't just delicious flavored coffee.
It is your dignity we're talking about.

I have my dignity. Now will you please
take me to the bathroom?

All right, I see your point.

Guess I could get a couple of the black
employees and we could go talk to Veronica.

Good idea. Safety in numbers.

She is way too attractive
and intimidating to face alone.

Plus, if I get enough guys,
maybe she won't know which one's me.


We never should have let
that white guy off.

We're eight black men in an elevator.
Of course the white guy's gonna get off.

Veridian Dynamics.


just the thought of it
makes these white people smile.

We believe everyone works best
when they work together...

even if they'rejust standing around.

just like we enjoy varieties of foods...

we enjoy varieties of people...

even though we can't eat them.

At Veridian Dynamics,
we're committed to a multiethnic workplace.

You can shake on it.

Veridian Dynamics.

Diversity. Good for us.

Hey. I had a really good time
with Don last night.

Yeah, I heard. Great news.

And he is obviously crazy about you.

He's obviously crazy about you too.
Good job, Ted. Everybody loves everybody.

Wait. I'm saying I like Don.

And I'm saying "fantastic. "

Doesn't sound like you're saying "fantastic. "

I mean, you're using the word
but it sounds all... yelly.

Oh, is that one of Don's crepes?

Yeah. They're really, really good.

I'd love to taste it.

Sorry. That was the last bite.

This was the company's plan.
We're gonna die in here.

Yeah. We'll get the last laugh next week when
everyone is wondering what that smell is.

I thought you guys might need a little help.

Veronica! Oh, God,
this looks way too aggressive.

No, it's okay.
I think I know why you're all here.

Well, most of you.

Um, I have something prepared. Um-

"Veronica, you are a terrific boss"-

Thank you, Lem. I'll take it from here.

Let me start by apologizing on behalf of
Veridian for this inexcusable situation.

I understand what you're going through.

I know what it's like to see
the ugly face of discrimination.

- You do?
- Yes, I do.

When I was 16, I was 5 foot 9 and stunning.

I mean, off-the-charts gorgeous.

At school, I was like a swan
among ugly ducklings.

All the other girls hated me and...

like our light sensors are doing to you,
totally ignored me.

If it wasn't for the modeling contracts
and the comfort of college boys...

I don't know if I would have made it.

Wow. I had no idea.

No. How could you? You're still not 5 foot 9.

Thank you.

My point is, the company is committed...

to fixing this problem, and they will.

- Anything else?
- Uh, uh-

"Great boss, always fair,
hair like spun gold. " No, that's it.

Well, my door is always open to you.

Please, close it on the way out.

I laid into Veronica pretty good.
Ifigured it was my only shot.

- So I took the gloves off.
- Well, that sounds great, Lem.

Sounds like you gave the company
a really strong message.

Oh, yeah. She said they're working 24/7
to make things right.

- Separate drinking fountains?
- Thank God we don't have a company bus.

Okay. They realize it didn't work.
Although there's a lot of fighting upstairs...

about whether it was the idea
or the execution.

- Look, Veronica-
- Yes, Lem?

I think we know what I'm going to say.

No. Go ahead.
You tell her, Lem. You earned it.

I am really angry about this. Or just angry.
You know, whatever feels right to you.

You have every right to be angry.

The good news is I'm told they've fixed it.

- Really?
- Yes. You won.

Nice work. You can walk away tall.

Thank you. I just-

Walk away... tall.

I think she's telling you
to walk away, but tall.

Oh, right.

Go, Veridian!


Look at you, letting him be heard.

Sometimes it's important to listen
to the people who work for you, Ted.

Someone just told me
the most incredible thing.

- Oh, God. Another one.
- Okay, this isn't a joke.

- Eight black guys walk into an elevator-
- We know.

- It's being handled.
- Whoa. Excuse me.

Maybe if Don were telling you this, you'd let
him finish and then go out for smoothies.

That chick gets weirder every day.

I don't know what happened. She's been mad
at me since I told her I liked her boyfriend.

I guess I should go talk to them
about the drinking fountains.

Although they're not gonna want
to pull them out too fast...

because it'll look like they're admitting
they made a mistake.

The thing is it was Linda's idea
for me to date Don in the first place.

- So seriously, what the hell?
- Okay.

She set you up hoping you would have
a bad time because you're not over her.

But you had a good time, so now she's mad
because it means you are over her. Got it?

It's weird. Linda and I haven't had sex,
it's complicated.

You and I had sex that one time,
it's no big deal.

Well, I'm different than other women, Ted.

And by different, I mean better.

Hey, look at that. The lights are on.

- Yes, they are, Phil.
- See?

Got them to fix it.

When you stand up for yourself,
you get things done.

I learned that the first time I sent back
undercooked chicken at a restaurant.

Yes, I ended up paying for two chickens,
but still, I-

They didn't fix the system.

Sure they did.
The lights were on when I got here. So-

All they did was hire a bunch
of minimum-wage white guys...

to follow the black employees around
and activate things for us.


This is Stu. He's a huge idiot.

But he was born with the God-given talent
to trigger a light sensor.

So, here we are.

This tastes salty!

Well, that's because
it's salt, you huge idiot.

- What is it?
- Salt.

Salt. Salt!

Okay, you know what?
You have to do something!

Because I don't care for all this yelling.

It's time for me and the guys to ride again.
Stu, we're leaving!

I think this might be salt!

Really shouldn't eat things in here.

- Okay, what are you doing?
- I was told to do exactly what you do.

They didn't mean that. That doesn't
even make any sense. Okay, cut it out.

Can't risk it, bro. This is the first job
I've had in, like, two years.

- Can you believe this?
- I know. Isn't it great?

- We all get our own free white guys.
- You like it?

Yeah. Hey, Ty's the best.

He anticipates everything I need.
Plus, he picked up my dry cleaning.

- Oh, and he got this kink out of my neck.
- Really?

- Mm-hmm.
- My white guy sucks.

Well, maybe you'rejust not
using yours right.

- Yeah. Maybe it's on you, dude.
- Shut up, Stu.

I got the worst black guy.

I can't be friends with Don anymore.


- Go on.
- In fact, I never want to see him again.

I'm surprised to hear you say that,
since you said he was such a great guy.

I know. And he is.
But it turns out I hate him.

- Do you really?
- Yes.

I want to crush his handsome skull
with a hammer.

Well, that's horrible. Anything else?

Well, then I'd chop him into pieces...

and I'd feed him to all his precious
North American freshwater fish.

- Then with whatever's leftover-
- Okay, easy, Ted. I am dating the guy.


So I should get going.

Good-bye, Linda.

You know, we have a meeting now
in the conference room.

Oh, yeah.

I'll walk with you.

This whole black thing
has turned into a complete nightmare.

Really? There's a problem
with Operation White Shadow?

Human Resources says it's against the law...

to just hire a bunch of white people,
because that's discrimination.

So now we also have to hire black people
to follow our black people around...

which doesn't make any sense because
our system won't see them either.

So then we'd have to hire more white people
for those black people...

which we can't do without
hiring more black people.

Oh, Ted, I'm having
the most awful, awful, awful day.

So am I.

And suddenly the day takes
an unexpected turn.

Not that I'm complaining.

I'd had a terrible day.

- But things were finally starting to look up.
- Ted, wait.

I don't think this is a good idea.

You couldn't have mentioned that
a couple seconds ago?

I'm sorry.
If we did this, it would be fun.

I mean, it always is with me.

I'm not bragging. It just is.
Plus, you and I are good together.

But the thing is you
wouldn't be doing it with me.

Aw, come on, Linda.

- Okay, I see what you're saying.
- Mmm.

Listen. You're not, uh, you know-

What, Ted? Embarrassed?

Upset? Disappointed? Itchy? Hungry?
Earning twice your salary?

Don't worry. I'm not any of those things.

Maybe a little hungry. Plus the salary thing.

Now let's talk about the problems
of institutional racism.

Boy, when the moment's gone
with you, it's really gone.

I've been doing some reading.
We're on the wrong side of this issue.

Well, why don't they just get rid of
the new system and put the old one back in?

It'd be too expensive.
Ted, this isn't about race.

It's about money. It's always about money.

Money before people.
That's the company motto...

engraved right there on the lobby floor.

Just looks more heroic in Latin.

It turned out Lem had
also been thinking about the money issue.

And he put together some
interesting numbers to show us.

And then we all went to speak to management
in a language they could understand.

Within a margin of error
of plus or minus one percent.

And so, if the company
keeps hiring white people...

to follow black people to follow white people
to follow black people, by-

Thursday, June 27, 2013-

...every person on Earth will be working for us.

And we don't have the parking for that.

No way.

Now let's take a look at how
this would affect health care costs.

Gee, Ted, it seems like financially...

it makes more sense
to just go back to the old system.

Great idea, Veronica.
That's why you're earning twice my salary.

And so the company
reinstalled the old motion detectors...

and things got back to normal.

See? You stood up for yourself,
and finally the problem got solved.

- Good for you, Lem.
- Thank you.

I'm really gonna enjoy living my life without
having white people hovering around me.

- We're a good team, Ted.
- Yeah, we are.

Here. I bought you some briefs.

The boxers you were wearing
didn't highlight your assets- penisly speaking.

Thank you. And I promise to never
tear off my clothes in front of you again.

I didn't say "never. "
I'll just let you know when you're ready.

- Hey, guys.
- Hey, Ted.


- Don stopped by for lunch.
- Oh, you guys want to join us?

Thanks. No, I've got some briefs to look over.

- Veronica?
- Well, that was a lovely invitation.

Now you can walk away tall.

Walk away... tall.

Walking away tall, boss.

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