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NBA player Jeremy Lin addresses Asian stereotypes at Oscars

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Charlotte Hornets’ Jeremy Lin talked to fans on the court following a game against the Atlanta Hawks, Sunday, in Atlanta.

Chris Rock’s Asian joke at Oscars provokes backlash

CHARLOTTE, N.C. » Charlotte Hornets guard Jeremy Lin is disappointed about the way Asians were stereotyped during an onstage skit at Sunday night’s Oscars, and said more racial awareness is needed.

“I just feel like sometimes the way people perceive Asians or Asian-Americans today can be disappointing in the way they view them,” Lin said after the Hornets practice this morning. “Even Asian-American masculinity or whatever you want to talk about, just a lot of the ways that Asians are perceived I don’t always agree with.”

Lin was born in California, but his parents migrated here from Taiwan in the mid-1970s.

At Sunday night’s awards show, host Chris Rock introduced three Asian children dressed in tuxedos as PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants and joked: “They sent us their most dedicated, accurate and hard-working representatives. I want you to please welcome Ming Zhu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz.”

He later joked, “If anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was probably also made by these kids.”

Lin took to social media on Monday by tweeting: Seriously though, when is this going to change?!? Tired of it being “cool” and “ok” to bash Asians smh #Oscars

Lin wasn’t the only one upset.

Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Washington-based Asian Americans Advancing Justice, called the show a setback for diversity in a statement Monday.

Sunday “night’s ceremony, and particularly the ‘joke’ involving Asian children, which played off more than one damaging stereotype of Asians and Asian Americans, exposed one of the failings of how we talk about race in America: race relations are not a black-white binary,” Moua said. “It is to all of our detriment to look at race narrowly. We need to work together to dismantle the systems that devalue the experiences of minority groups so we can see the tales of the diversity that have shaped our nation reflected accurately.”

Lin said he’s never met Rock and has “no issues” with the comedian, calling him a “funny guy.”

He understands that Rock probably didn’t write the skit by himself, but couldn’t let the perceived slight slip by without making a stand.

“I thought it was a chance for me to stand up for Asians,” Lin said today.

Lin, who earned national attention while playing for the New York Knicks during the “Linsanity” era, said too often Asians are depicted with certain stereotypes in Hollywood.

“In acting, you look at Asian roles, they always seem to be in similar roles,” Lin said. “I feel like we are just so much more broad than that. What you see on TV, that is so influential. Perception is reality and that’s the truth it today’s day and age where it such a digital and technological age.

“So if we can start branching out a little bit or at least showing that we are different than what other people think we are, maybe we can start to break down some of those walls.”

Lin said his comments on Twitter aren’t meant to bash Rock.

He said he actually enjoyed Rock’s opening monologue earlier in the night when he talked about the lack of diversity in the Oscar award nominations.

“I think the whole push was he talking about opportunities and diversity and things that I totally agree with,” Lin said. “I thought his monologue was well done. He walked a fine line and did it pretty well.”

AP National Writer Hillel Italie in New York contributed to this report.

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  • Lynn has been subject to much prejudice in his career as a basketball player. He will recognizes the public bashing that was seen on TV. That needs to change. TV folks should know better.

    • Hard to see Asians as victims although yes, there are stereotypes of all kinds out there. Delima has made a fortune re-iterating them. We Mandans are victims of stereotypes as well so perhaps I might request financial compensation for my suffering.

    • Wiliki, you must admit that it’s the Liberal democrat, republican, green, libertarian, et al who continue to separate American’s into separate groups and make fun of them. They cannot look at all citizens of the United States as American, period.

    • wiliki – Part of the problem is people like you who can’t even spell his name correctly, give him the Anglo version.

      Jeremy Lin. Not Lynn. So many professional rookies posting.

  • Wait a minute, I know Jeremy Lin is a Harvard graduate. I’m 1/2 Japanese Nisei and I’m wondering how portraying Oriental children as SMART and HARD WORKING is a slight !!! Are you kidding me ??? Hawaii can teach the world about race relations with our diverse ethnic backgrounds, “stuck” on a pinhead in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. How about listening to Keola Beamer’s “Mr.Sun Cho Lee” sometime, anybody detect an ounce of malice in his stereotypes ???
    NEGATIVE, it’s all in fun. The problem with the mainland is there are all these “minority” people looking, with a microscope, for ANY perceived slights, big or small. Grow up people and move forward. If ethnic insults is the best some bigot can do, walk away KNOWING how ignorant that person is !!! There are many more intelligent insults than an ethnic slur, but uneducated, Java Man types, do NOT possess the IQ to create them !! Just walk away KNOWING you’re the better person & probably making more money than the idiot bigot !!
    Unfortunately, it seems the media is determined to bring the US down by creating schisms between races and social classes. Perhaps that’s why young people have shied away from the old mainstream media, they’re sick and tired of reading about negativity. seems the media’s BEST story, most enjoyed by the writer and their staff, is building somebody up, putting them on the highest perch, and THEN tearing them down !! Humiliation of a hero seems to be the sport of media !! Shame, shame, shame, to think journalism USED to be an honorable profession. Now, it’s just an excuse to dig whatever dirt they can find up, and then rip somebody to shreds…………

    • My screen name is just that: Jonathan is for my favorite Love Bird and Patrick is for Danica. As for me, I am of the same regional origination as Michelle Wie and David Ige.

  • The movie, Joy Luck Club, I feel, says a lot of how Asians are seen. But it is changing with the times. And the skit was amusing. Got to be able to laugh at yourself.

  • We really don’t recognize discrimination against Asian Americans. There is a lot. The have less chance of getting in to the top schools. They rarely get promoted to top management positions. Wrong of Chris Rock to stereo-type Asian Americans.

    • Way back in the late 70’s, my wife and I went to San Francisco on vacation. Our plane landed late and by the time we got to the hotel it was past midnight, but we were hungry. So, after dropping our stuff in the room, we ventured out to see if there was anything open. Back then, there weren’t as many 24-hour places as nowadays. Anyway, we came across a place called Zim’s. The sign just inside said, “Please wait to be seated.” So we did. It was fairly empty at that hour. A white couple came in after us, and they were immediately taken to a seat. Then a large group of white people came in, and they were seated. I told my wife that maybe they all had reservations. Then a white family came in and yes, they were seated, too. Finally, I got up and asked the hostess why we weren’t being seated. In a kind of exasperated tone, she says, “Oh, SORRY! Right this way!” We sat right next to the kitchen door way in the back where the door kept swinging open and shut. Now, coming from Hawaii where Asians are actually a majority, I had never experienced something like this and wasn’t quite sure if it was racism or not, but when the waitress did not stop by our table for 20 minutes (not even a glass of water), and everyone who came before us already had their food served, we decided maybe we weren’t that hungry and left.

      • Late 70’s was about time off the Vietnam war and the US fighting ‘little asians’ (like Trump calling Rubio ‘little Marco’). This is after fighting ‘them’ in WW2 and the Korean war. Also movies like Deer Hunter came out in 1978 and you have a recipe for subtle and not so subtle racism in the US. Right now Rock felt it was safer to denigrate Asians with less consequences than Blacks, Caucasians, Hispancs or Muslims. Rock is not afraid of denigrating other races, which he has done in the past, it is just in todays climate he knows picking on Asians will least negatively impact him in his pocketbook.

        • The Asian kids at the Oscars were not physically harmed or verbally abused, in fact they probably got paid good money so the best response from Asians to Chris Rock is to message him with a F U and then walk away. Calls for a Rock boycott or more ‘dialogue’ only confirms a perceived weakness or frailty of Asians.

  • Honestly, Rock and others have made much more insulting jokes about their own race and I laughed at them, just as I do with his asian joke.

    However in general, I would agree that asians are a much safer ethnicity to go after. They are seen as smart, hard working, respectful, and skin color wise look similar to whites. So yes, they are an easy target. Sad but true.

    • As an Asian myself, I watched the skit and wasn’t all that offended, but like you I just wondered what would be the reaction if a white host did a similar skit using black children. “The envelopes are being delivered from NY by these black children because they can run long distances…,” or “I hope you don’t get your panties in a bunch over that joke because these kids probably picked the cotton they are made from!” Imagine the backlash for that!

  • Why no Asian male porn stars? Got lotsa beautiful Asian girls but no male ones. Should they protest, “Brown poles matter?” Should less Asian men get degrees in Law, Engineering, Medicine, and such and participate in more mainstream activities like Pimping, Wife Whupping, Cop Assasinations, Jailbirding, Narotic distribution, and such. Should Asians stop scoring top grades on tests and let SAT medians shrink so other races can get into the Ivy League colleges and Stanford. Why is Iolani almost all Asian students? Is there a case for racial discrimination to be filed? Ay, Jeremy. Just say NOTHING. Asians know they are good at everything. They can laugh at themselves. They love the DeLima jokes. Jokes are made against Asians because they are envious. Do you all agree? BTW, Chris Rock is a comedian. He defused the racial inequality minefield with comedy beautifully. He deserved a special golden statue and a bonus at the end of the night. The girl scout surprise bested Ellen Degeneres pizza party, and I enjoyed it. Chris Rock is KING!

    • To me, many (in fact most) whites are like Trump – loud, brash, and arrogant, and who think that they are a superior race to anyone of color. But that doesn’t give me the right to make fun of them in public. I came to my conclusion about whites based on what I’ve personally experienced in life here in Hawaii and for many years on the mainland. And I let people come to their own conclusions about their own race and the race of others around them. You think “Chris Rock is King”. Okay, but I’m thinking more like “Kock Ring”.

  • Is replying to current events with your unsolicited opinion a desperate act of trying to remain relevant in this Twitter/social network/instant narcissism society era?

  • Childish acts like this, too many people grandstanding on the stage, three hours long, all this and more contributed to the lowest viewer level ever.

    Truth is no one really cares, hasn’t got the time to waste on this trash.

  • I didn’t watch so I missed how to joke was delivered. Just reading about it, it doesn’t seem to be THAT offensive. However, it also doesn’t seem to belong in a show that is trying to address accusations of RACISM that resulted in a boycott from some of its members. Who thought it was a good idea to make racist jokes at a show that was battling accusations of racism? Even it the joke wasn’t that offensive, it seems these people have their po`o up their okole.

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