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editorial

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler give Boston some constructive criticism

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were hosts of the Golden Globes.

Associated Press

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler were hosts of the Golden Globes.

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Oh, come on; Bostonians aren’t that unfriendly, are we? And if Tina Fey and Amy Poehler think we are, they can go. . . explain to local civic and politicial leaders the value of sending a more welcoming message to the world.

During Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards, hosts Fey and Poehler had a few laughs at Boston’s expense as they described director Ben Affleck’s Iranian-hostage-crisis drama “Argo.” “Ben’s first two movies took place in Boston,” Fey said, “but he moved this one to Iran because he wanted to film somewhere that was friendlier to outsiders.” It was funny. But it stung, too, because it echoes a frequent complaint among newcomers — that the city’s chilliness toward strangers makes it harder to build a life here. Poehler, who grew up in Burlington, followed up by putting on a broad Boston accent and feigning a chip-on-her-shoulder attitude: “You’re not better than me,” she told Affleck.

Stereotypes about entire regions are always unfair. Not all New Yorkers are self-involved; not all Los Angelenos are superficial; not all New Orleanians are boozy libertines. Nor are all Bostonians closed-minded about the wider world, as Poehler and Affleck, at least, should know from experience. But the view that Boston is too insular and unwelcoming is widespread enough that the city should look for ways to prove it false. This is one civic initiative in which everyone can participate.

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