Kelly Hu plays high school valedictorian turned masseuse

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

kelly hu dara lee in case of emergencyHorrendous. Angry Asian Man reports on a new sitcom that brings us a stereotype double whammy:

I’ve been seeing commercials for this new ABC midseason comedy In Case of Emergency, starring Kelly Hu. As reported here previously, she plays Dara Lee, a once-high school valedictorian, now a hooker in a Korean massage parlor. WONDERFUL. Indeed, it is possible to portray not one, but two opposite Asian stereotypes in one role. And man, don’t get me started about the red dress they have here wearing in the photo here. For the curious, the show is scheduled to premiere on January 3rd.

links for 2006-12-12

Nicole Richie was white in 2003, black in 2006

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

black and white cookieFunny stuff, from MollyGood:

Three years ago, Nicole Richie was arrested for heroin possession, so following this morning’s DUI arrest, The Smoking Gun was kind enough to compare the changes in her booking sheets from 2003 and 2006. Wheee. The picture accompanying the 2006 sheet is her mugshot, while the 2003 pic is just a photo of Nicole from around the same time.

Here is how she’s changed (I mean, other than her drug of choice). In three years, Nicole Richie has:

1. Shrunk one inch.
2. Lost 5 lbs. (That’s all? Seems fishy.)
3. Changed which race she identifies with (White in 2003, Black in 2006).

Well, at this rate, when she’s arrested in 2009 she’ll be a 5’0”, 80 lb Latina.

Comedian: James Kim died because “Asians are such bad drivers”

by guest contributor Susan Ito

On Thursday, December 7th, the nonprofit group Death Penalty Focus, led by actor Mike Ferrell, held a benefit comedy night at Cobb’s Comedy Club in San Francisco. It included a great lineup of comics and stars like Aundre the Wonder Woman, Will Durst, Billy Steele and even James Cromwell, most famous for his role as the Farmer in “Babe the Pig.”

i'm an assholeBut first a little-known comic named Brad Wollack came to warm up the audience. One of the first things he said was, “I’m here because of nepotism.” And I totally believed it. This guy, despite being a native of San Francisco, was so woefully disconnected to this audience. I’ve got to believe that his regular gigs must be in… um, I don’t know? Where is the most ignorant town on the planet? He made some snide comments about homeless people. And people with AIDS. Not a snicker.

Then he dug himself even deeper. He said, “Yeah, that family that got lost in the snow in Oregon. Big tragedy, yeah, I feel bad for them.” I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to hold my hands over my ears. I wanted to wing a huge glass bottle at his head. He kept going though. “What can you expect though? Of course they got lost, because everybody knows that Asians are such bad drivers.”

I really wanted to fling myself off the balcony and throttle him with my bare hands. Or weep. Or both. I really regret that several hundred of us did not rise up and throw him out on the street.

Silence. Groans. Someone yelled, “You’re a jerk!” Um, that was an understatement. I guess this guy went to the Kramer school of Komedy. So here’s his face. Here’s his name. BRAD WOLLACK. Asshole. If you’re ever in a position to pay money to go hear him, (even if you’re paid money to go hear him)… don’t.

Also, if you feel inclined to give Mr. Wollack a piece of your mind, email him at

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Rosie O’Donnell’s publicist thinks Asians just don’t get the joke

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

I guess Rosie O’Donnell, like Michael Richards, believes she’s not a racist.

First came the non-apology via her blog (for some bizarre reason she blogs in uh, poetry, not prose):

1) Rosie:
for someone who comes off to be so sensitive and aware of lgbt issues, why did you think it was alright to mock Chinese people and the language on The View (re:danny devito: ching chong …)???

it was not my intent to mock
just to say how odd it is
that danny drunk
was news all over the world
even in china

it was not meant to mock

2) hi rosie,
i thought your impression of the news in china was a little offensive! it’s ok, though, I still love you-

didnt mean it 2 b offensive
in any way

3) Rosie, what made you think it was okay to make fun of the way Chinese people speak?

the joke was about the danny devito drunk news
making headines all over the world
including china
just comedy folks
no intent 2 harm


And even more offensively, her publicist basically dismissed the entire Asian-American community. (For the record, everyone from New York City Councilman John Liu to the Asian-American Journalists Association has spoken out about this.) From

Cindi Berger, publicist for O’Donnell said, “She’s a comedian in addition to being a talk show co-host. I certainly hope that one day they will be able to grasp her humor.”

Hmmm…. I guess those white kids who pulled their eyes back and sang “ching chong, ching chong” on my first day of class when I was in second grade had the same sophisticated sense of humor as Rosie. Perhaps one day I too, will reach that level of enlightenment.

(Thanks to Geraly and Phil C. for the updates!)

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Reclaiming racist!!!

by guest contributor Dumi, originally published at

“I’m not a racist.” Another variation on it is often, “I’m not a racist but…” or better yet, “Are you trying to say I’m a racist?” All three of these things are beginning to make me literally sick to my stomach. A few weeks back Michael Richards’ outburst set the blogosphere on fire, which in turn set the media a fire, which in turn drove Richards to say, “The funny thing is, I’m not a racist.” Well to Mr. Richards and all others who utter these words, I have one simple comment, “Yes, (fill in name here), you are a racist.” Many folks get jarred by this statement, so read it again in the “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” tone. Does that help you stomach it?

I tend to let my mind ferment during the evening by watching reality TV or playing my Nintendo DS (oh it’s so great!). Tonight, I opted for Reality TV. I decided to watch the Real World Denver (no I don’t think I have a real reason to watch this trash, but I did). Tonight’s episode was yet another “big race episode” (this reminds me of when they would say things like, “Next week, a very special Webster” remember that? I digress). The characters end up in a tussle and the N word is barked by a drunken White male, Davis, within earshot of at least one Black roommate. I’ll summarize so you don’t have to watch the episode, they (producers) take the White roommate away for the night to a hotel and he returns the next day so the cast can talk it out. The result, the Black roommates forgive him and he says… you guessed it, “I’m not racist.” One Black roommate Tyrie asked him (and I paraphrase) “So I just want to know, when you used that word. Where did it come from? Is that something you’ve been thinking or did it come out of anger or…?” Davis quickly responded, “Out of anger.” This was particularly important to me because I knew once Tyrie gave him an “out” – mentioning anger, he would immediately jump at that reason. The episode closes with the Black roommates forgiving him and Davis staying so he can show them he can “watch what he says” and “he’s not a racist.” Dammit, you are a racist!

Now if any of you reading have had the pleasure (or pain) of sitting in on one of my guest lectures on race and ethnicity you know about this. Towards the beginning of the lecture I have all the people in attendance point to their neighbor and say, “You’re a racist” and then have them point to their other neighbor and say, “You’re a racist.” After people follow in a Pavlovian style they usually look back at me, half of them with some form of pissed expression. I then allay their fears by saying, “Now that everyone has been called a racist and called at least one person a racist, we can stop being scared of being labeled a racist.” The label racist is avoided like Jehovah’s Witness’ on a Saturday morning.

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Brand-new “Addicted to Race” episode out now (#51)!

by Carmen Van Kerckhove

A brand-new episode of Addicted to Race is out! If you haven’t already, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes. Click here to launch iTunes and subscribe today, it’s absolutely free.

Carmen is joined by guest co-host Karen Walrond in this episode. Karen is a writer and photographer, and author of the blog Chookooloonks. She’s also a columnist for New Demographic’s blog Anti-Racist Parent.

After listener feedback, Karen and Carmen discuss the following four news items:

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Duration – 42:22
File Size – 17.1 MB
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links for 2006-12-11

Race, Culture, and Identity in a Colorstruck World