Cool Person Amber Liu Responds to Clip Of TMZ Staffer Stupidly Imitating an Asian Accent

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For all the controversial racism clickbait reasons that I can only fathom, clickbait wizards TMZ decided to cover the Korea Times Music Festival by filming one of their staffers relay EXID’s Junghwa’s comments in an exaggerated Asian accent.

I know TMZ is in the business to get attention (I will even go as far as to say that they’re very good at getting scoops when motivated) but they had to know that there’s no way that this would have gone over well.

I’m not sure what’s the worse thing here.

1. The fact that the white female staff member felt the need to read her notes in an Asian accent that was actually harder to understand than Junghwa’s English.

2. Her colorblind “I would have done a British accent if the person was British LOL” defense.

3. Some of the other staff’s obvious discomfort that they were being filmed while their colleague was slowly crashing and burning before their very eyes.

4. The predictable appeal to an Asian American staff member to excuse the whole thing* as if a) that would validate what had just taken place and b) a person put on the spot while surrounded by co-workers and superiors would be willing and comfortable to #KeepIt100.

The clip caught the attention of EXID’s label who stated that they’re understandably upset and waiting for a response from TMZ.

“It isn’t something we can laugh off. This is clearly an act of racism. We will be contacting TMZ through Korean media on site and will be demanding countermeasures.”

Coolest Person on the Planet (and Taiwanese American) Amber Liu of f(x) also chimed in because she’s the Coolest Person on the Planet and sometimes the Coolest Person on the Planet has to let people know when they’re not being cool.

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So, yeah. NOT COOL TMZ. Don’t take my word for it, the Ambassador of Cool has spoken.

*Been there, done that. It’s the worst.

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19 comments

  1. And I had to laugh at the head guy face palming like the entire thing wasn’t completely scripted. Oh well, their target demographic is drooling idiots after all. We shouldn’t expect them not to act accordingly.

  2. good lord.. people get outraged over being offended by the slightest thing anymore. I’m from Oklahoma. People from Oklahoma are always portrayed as idiots country bumpkins with exaggerated accents. I am offended… I think I probably need to sue somebody, or at least start a facebook campaign to “end the hate”

  3. Ok, I’m Asian myself but I had to watch it twice to spot the “racism”. Seriously, I thought she was just trying to imitate the expression, which includes the accent.

    1. Shadow · · Reply

      LOL

  4. Shadow · · Reply

    This is what political correctness has spawned. What ever happened to “sticks and stones. . . “.

  5. JaySee · · Reply

    The “outrage” by English speaking kpop idols is pretty damn ridiculous. These are people who know full well how racist Korea is to foreigners in Korea. They openly mock foreigner celebrities’ accents when speaking Korean as “개인기.” I don’t see any of these “outraged” idols speaking up about that or the black face or token white person needed in every commercial and print ad.

    1. The outrage is there but it may be more muted because Korean culture has different ideas of what is considered offensive and what isn’t. Race isn’t some immutable universal law, it’s a societal construct. What is pretty clear is that, in America, a white person imitating an Asian accent for shits and giggles isn’t going to go over well which is probably why it struck Amber as offensive.

  6. calmdown.com · · Reply

    the thing is, racism itself, (although not by its true definition here), shouldn’t be viewed negatively, although having negative notion is better to the society as a whole.

    you’re racist if you only want to marry someone of your race for example, simply because of preference. but it’s not a negative racism. public toilets are sexist, by separating men and women, but it’s not negative sexism.

    if you watch it again, she wasn’t imitating her accent, she was imitating the way she speaks, regardless of what she was actually trying to do.

    even i she did, to say that she is negatively racist by imitating the artist is an assumption. it depends on her intention.she might just purely imitating. i mean, if you’re imitating Chris Rock, of course by trying to imitate him, you’re speaking the stereotypical way black people speaks.

    all in all, it depends on the intention of the speaker.

    1. Acknowledging differences of sex isn’t sexism, what the heck? Nor is racism pointing out that race exists or marrying someone of your same race (have to admit, that’s the first time I’ve heard that one). Racism is deriding someone OVER their race and, believe it or not, the mocking of Asian accents is something that is very real and not cool.

      And it’s not like the TMZ person was reciting a “bit” or a stand up performance. She was relaying what someone said while trying to “entertain” through the most juvenile way possible.

      But thank you for this. “Negative sexism” and “negative racism” sure gave me a nice laugh as if there were positives to either.

      1. and the kpop idols were also trying to entertain in the most juvenile way possible, by mocking (a westerner’s) accent (or distinctive voice). “mocking” being the key word there. It’s mean spirited either way. It does not make the mocking-for-entertainment any more tasteful just because Cristina is (getting paid) to sit there & laugh along.

        if the TMZ girl had instead badly imitated an English accent (as she offered), & even made overt reference to stereotypical bad British teeth, NO ONE would have considered that racism simply because English & Americans are (historically white Europeans) Does that make the mocking any less offensive & somehow acceptable?

      2. Not sure if that was directed at me but if it was, then the hypothetical mocking of a British accent probably wouldn’t draw attention because the racial component wouldn’t really be there (and it’s hard to build a case for historical racism against British people in the US considering where the history of the US springs from).

        These things are complex and can’t be boiled down to “well if we substitute X for Y then what would you say.” The answer would be different but that doesn’t discredit what was previously said. It only means that the US has a host of issues related to race that it’s continually working through to this day.

      3. yes I was directing that post at you slug.. & right the british accent is not the best counter-example given the connections. I started to suggest an American’s ‘imitation’ of a heavy German, Italian, or Spanish accent. None are very complimentary to the people involved (even though some stereo-typical elements of the accent might very accurate). But nobody calls it ‘racism’. how remote of an ethnic connection is enough for it cross the line. Russians? Probably not to most, but if it speaker is not European, it IS racism?

        It has been stated that the KPOP idols imitation of Christina was not “intended” to be offensive, it was just entertainment. I’m sure if asked the TMZ girl would say she did not intend it to be offensive (she stupidly thought she might get a laugh? read: entertainment)

        One could only guess that she might also think a bad Italian accent wouldn’t be offensive even though most Italians probably would, but I doubt people would be screaming racism. & the Italian folks have their own rough history with America.

        Just because someone perceives an event a certain way doesn’t always make it so.. especially when the intent of speaker is relevant

      4. I mean, you could point to plenty of examples in US history of discrimination against Germans, Italian and Jews but the point is that they eventually assimilated under the “white American” banner by the time that the GI Bill rolled out after WWII (an oversimplification but a pretty good general guideline when racism against other ethnic Europeans was largely put to bed).

        And yes, the intent of the speaker is relevant but that doesn’t discredit the offense taken either. It’s not up to Amber or anyone else to simply “take it” because a poor Asian imitation is being used as a humorless joke without a punchline.

      5. Sorry if I’m getting a little into this but I can’t help it sometimes haha. I majored in Legal Studies and wrote my senior thesis on the Japanese internment camps and then went on to get a masters with an emphasis on local American politics and how race impacts them. While I’ve been out of school awhile, I can’t help but get drawn back into it every now and again.

      6. Yes, let’s get back to arguing about salient topics like whether female idols are over stuffing their bras.
        Also, “Kent-type length” lol

      7. hit reply too soon & there is no edit.. was also in danger of reaching Kent-type length.

        to clarify.. I’m not saying the intent of the speaker controls. Certainly whether something rises to the level of racism is largely based on context & the perception of the insulted party. BUT, if it is ok to mock someone in a childish hurtful way, for ENTERTAINMENT, then excuse the act based on intent & general “acceptance”, intent is relevant here too (& or lack of realization that the statement would be hurtful).

  7. calmdown.com · · Reply

    hi yellowslug. nice talking to you. just to clarify,you’re right when you said that i didnt get the meaning of racism right. it’s true. i was trying to say that racism is segregation based on race, which is wrong based on its actual definition. i realized that on the first place thus the ‘although not by its true definition here’ part.

    by definition (on google if you just type ‘racism’) is

    the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races.

    on ‘ (*) the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race’, i want to give an example. Saying that Koreans are born with black hair is racist, although it can always be viewed merely as a statement.

    by ‘the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race, as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races’, to say that the woman is racist based on this definition should only be within the boundary of assumption. she might just mocked her accent, but not to the point of believing one’s race is better than the other’s on anything.

    I can accept if you’re saying that she was being racist, as by the definition of (*) though, but its not always a bad thing.

    just so you know, sexism is defined as ‘prejudice, stereotyping, OR discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex’. Discriminating men and women on public toilets by separating them are thus,sexist. so, if you want men and women to be separated at public toilets, you are a sexist. As far as discriminating men and women goes, maybe you can say that it’s good that lactation room are only accessible to women, and maybe call it a positive sexism.

    1. I don’t know, acknowledging that men and women are biologically different is “positive sexism” or “negative sexism,” it’s a fact. Now, how society has dealt with that fact is an entirely different discussion but a government entity pointing out that men and women have different biological differences isn’t, in and of itself, “prejudice stereotyping or discimination.”

      1. calmdown.com · ·

        hi. thanks for the reply. i dont want this to go on anymore. it’s been nice talking to you. please dont be too harsh on me next time haha sorry if i offended you on anything.

        hope to talk to you soon. have a good day 🙂

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