Thursday, December 14, 2006

On this Rosie O’Donnell nonsense

Here are some snippets that people have posted to Rosie O’Donnell’s website in her defense:

Elizabeth writes:

I am not a die-hard fan, but the controversy about the asian accent is absolutely ridiculous. Please don’t succumb to the over-the-top politically correct! People need to lighten up & laugh a little

Rosie’s response: yup

Carla writes:

I think you are wonderful & do great things for so many people. How can you not take it to heart when people bash you for no reason? & this Chinese thing holy shit - Crazy! Keep on being u. Love U!

Rosie’s response: will do

Beth writes:

It’s so silly that Bill O’Reilly is having a segment on how you angered the Asians -you didn’t do anything at all - you were saying how silly it is that Devito became world news! Don’t listen to them!

Rosie’s response: i don’t

toni writes:

Ro, I can not believe that the Chinese are mad at you about a JOKE!!! Oh My God, lighten up people. Bill O’Reilly even stood up for you tonight on “The Factor”! Calm down people it was just a joke!

Rosie’s response: go bill

Yves writes:

Rosie-I don’t see the big deal about the Chinese routine. You’ve done English accents before on TV and the Brits didn’t get bent out of shape. They took it out of context and they need to chill.

Rosie’s response: the whole thing is odd 2 me

Now, I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m assuming that these were written by non-Asian people who never had to deal with racist taunts and preconceptions of their character based on race. So, I find it interesting that they are piping in with, "What's the big deal? Get a sense of humor!" If you aren't Asian and you didn't have to endure years of "CHING-CHONG, CHING-CHONG!" while kids used their fingers to stretch their eyes into slits throughout elementary school, don’t you think that you aren’t really in the position to have an opinion on the matter?

Sorry, it’s probably silly for us sensitive Asians to think that, as adults, people would act maturely and we wouldn't have to deal with that nonsense anymore.

Rosie O’Donnell has defended her behavior as a joke, she’s even gone so far as to refer to her gibberish as an “accent.” The fact is, “ching-chong” is in no way, shape or form a Chinese “accent.” As far as I know, there isn’t any dialect in China where the words, “ching-ching-chong” mean anything. Her words were a bastardization of a language, a straightforward mockery. To compare her passing “ching-chong” off as a representation of the Chinese language with her imitating a British accent is completely ridiculous. The two are not at all on the same level, especially given that English accents have a reputation in our society as “sexy.”

Fine, at the end of the day, she made a mistake. I am more than willing to forgive this. She didn’t know any better and she made a tasteless joke borne of sheer ignorance. This would have been fine if she had acknowledged her mistake, apologized, and said she wouldn’t do it again. Instead, she decided the better route was to say that Asians are too sensitive, it was a joke, it wasn’t meant to offend, and that she would probably do it again.

If I were to make a tasteless joke that offended gay people not knowing that a gay person would interpret it as offensive, I would apologize. As someone who is not gay, I don’t have a right to judge what is and is not offensive to gays. Case in point, I didn’t realize that referring to a straight male as a “cocksucker” (even if it is jest) is offensive to a gay person, but when it was pointed out to me that it is, I thought to myself, “Hey, that is offensive because I’m implying that being gay is a negative thing.” I definitely didn’t say, “Oh you silly gay man, you’re too sensitive. I was joking. I know more about what should and shouldn’t offend you than you do.”

As someone who is so quick to shout “Homophobe!” at every person who makes a remotely offensive statement, you would think she would be more sensitive to this phenomenon.

So, the moral of the story is, just own up already, Rosie. What you said was offensive to many people whether you intended it to be or not. Don’t declare yourself the new authority on how minorities should interpret your humor, just admit that you were ignorant about the situation, accept that Asian people have tried to tell you why what you said is offensive to us, and take it as a lesson learned. If you had apologized from the start, this wouldn’t have exploded into a media frenzy where, incidentally, the Asians are being painted as “crazy overly-sensitive freaks” and you as “innocent comedian.”


P.S. If Bill O'Reilly is on your side, that's usually a clear indication that you're on the wrong side.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly right, CEO of the world. Well said -- Thank you!

10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

could not have said it better myself!!

11:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that cow. ugh. and i used to think she was cool ala a league of their own

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

O'Donnell would have been torn apart at Wesleyan University. That having been said, I love this blog. Keep updating! Otherwise I'll have no excuse but to actually sit down and study for finals :i

1:26 AM  

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