woman sues martha stewart over firing

In Manhattan, Pei Hsieh, a former art director for Martha Stewart's magazine Martha Stewart Living, has a filed a $3 million federal lawsuit claiming she was fired for complaining about an Asian stereotype set to appear in print in the magazine: Martha sued over firing.

Hsieh, who is Chinese American, says she flagged the phrase in an email to a supervisor after seeing it in a description of a lampshade that resembled "the Southeast Asian conical-shaped hats traditionally worn by laborers for sun protection." Yeah, we're know what you're talking about.

In the email to her boss, written in August 2007, Hsieh wrote, "It is fraught with derogatory connotations, and its usage perpetuates negative stereotypes of Asians." Her objections apparently got her fired.

So what was phrase in question? Could it have been "coolie lampshade"? And did it ever eventually see print? No other details on the lawsuit, but I'm glad this woman was there to stand up and speak her mind. Let's hope she gets somewhere with this lawsuit.

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