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6.26.2007

chelsea handler's asian jokes on the tonight show


I've been a little behind on this one... on The Tonight Show last week, Chelsea Handler (who?) was on the show to promote something-or-other-who-the-hell-cares, and dropped a few punchlines at the expense of, who else... Asians. She was joking about Angelina Jolie's recently adopted Vietnamese kid, Pax, who "probably doesn't even know he's Asian yet. He certainly doesn't know he's going to be a horrible driver. Or that he's going to be amazing at doing nails. He has no idea!" What the hell? Now, I'm not a big fan fan of Angelina and her international baby-collectin' ways.... but that's a jacked up cheap shot. Ooh, relying on the old bad driver and nail salon jokes. You're so damn funny. And the audience just eats it up. This of course, sets off fellow guest Robin Williams, who starts riffing with incomprehensible accented gibberish (if you've seen him on talk shows before, you know that once you get Robin Williams going, he will not shut up).

The clip of her appearance has been removed from YouTube due to copyright violation, but the awesome guys over at Fallout Central are hosting a clip here. Is anyone else tired of this? Is anyone else sick of the fact that a "comedian" can go on national television and casually disrespect half the world like it ain't a damn thing? Is it because she thinks we're easy targets, and we won't complain or get angry over something like this? It's a cheap laugh that ultimately results in way more harm than just a ten second jab on television—talk to the population of Asian Americans who have had to deal with stereotypes and prejudice on a daily basis, tacitly reinforced by "harmless" joke moments like this. But hey, that's no big deal to pretty blond Chelsea here. Not a concern. Handler also has a history of doing the usual stupid Asian jokes for her show on E! I guess she just can't help going back to the well.

Jenn at Reappropriate has a good discussion on this, and provides a few suggestions on what you can do to speak out about this—including contact info for Handler's agent. I also recommend contacting NBC, but don't expect them to give a crap. That's racist!