First, a warning: do not watch this video unless you want a craptastically racist song stuck in your brain.
That said, this video, originally entitled "I want to be NEENJA!" has been making the rounds. It features television personality, former beauty queen and former Apprentice contestant Jennifer Murphy singing a bizarre and inexplicably racist song about a bed. Or ninjas? Or some other stupid Orientalist shit.
Hyped as a "sneak peek" of her new song, the video shows Ms. Murphy performing the song live at the "Pink Carpet Launch Party" for her company, Jennifer Murphy Beds. It is an epic narrative tune about martial arts, somebody referred to as "Chow," and Jennifer's own quest to become a so-called "neenja" -- largely performed in a shitty faux ching chong accent. What any of this has to do with selling beds... somebody tell me.
The video was uploaded to YouTube back in April, but recently propelled from internet obscurity by Reddit. (UPDATE: It appears the video has been subsequently taken down from Jennifer Murphy's YouTube channel. Here's an alternate stream.)
Murphy seems exceptionally oblivious to the poor taste that fuels this endeavor. Perhaps the worst part of the video, outside of the shit stain of the song itself, is that everyone at this event seems to be eating it up... except for that one Asian woman you can clearly see all up in the front.
I can only guess, because at some point she smiles and claps politely, but it doesn't look like Asian homegirl is having a whole lot of fun as Murphy mocks her literally to her face. It's awkward as ass.
Girl, we've been to that party too.
In the video details, Murphy says this is just a preview, and she's looking forward to shooting the "hilarious" official music video for the track. Oh, please, no. Can a white lady with some sense please dissuade Jennifer Murphy from making a music video of this shitty song? No one should have to hear or see this ever again.
UPDATE: Jennifer Murphy has posted a response in a lengthy Facebook post, claiming she has been "unjustly slandered" and the "Neenja" performance was "taken out of context and misconstrued."
I'm sorry, but there is no context in which this song would be appropriate. Ms. Murphy also pulls the whole "but-I-have-Asian-friends excuse," and explains that the lone Asian woman who made it into the video was one of "numerous Asian friends" at the party. This neither explains nor justifies a damn thing.
Here's an excerpt from her response:
Currently I am being called a racist because I made a funny video about becoming a Ninja... a song that I created for a music video that I planned to produce with my friend Peter who happens to be Asian. He is very good at impersonating Chow off the Hangover movies, so we decided to collaborate in a fun and creative way. My favorite YouTuber has always been Ryan Higa, and when I saw his video years ago called "How to be Ninja" I loved it so much that it helped inspire me to start my own YouTube channel. I've always loved Ninja Warriors and see them as a super hero. I was excited to incorporate this theme into videos with my friend Peter, and to create a series in in which "Chow" and I duel, but become friends in the end... similar to what happens in the Hangover movie series. The message in this is that if you put your mind to it you can do anything... including becoming a Ninja. And also that good will prevail and that love can conquer all.
Although the song wasn't fully produced yet, I performed it live at a party for the launch of JenniferMurphyBeds, a business venture that I have worked toward for years. I was excited to perform for my friends at the party, and this was the current project I had in motion. I gave a short description of the reason for the song, and who "Chow" is in the story. My performance was filmed, and I posted the video last April as a sneak peek for the music video I planned to produce.
Last week someone posted my video on a political blog on Reddit and called me a "Racist". Currently I am being attacked and threatened by thousands of people all over, am receiving hate mail and nasty voicemails, and all of my yelp accounts and business profiles are being attacked with vulgar messages. I have lost many of my business deals that I have worked toward for years and am being dropped by clients that I have produced video campaigns for because they too are being attacked. I am even being slandered by national and local press... including OC Weekly, who titled the article "Wannabe OC Bed Queen Sings Racist "Neenja" Song at Laguna Hills Launch Party". They are all writing horrible articles that are slanderous and on-sided.
Part of the accusations is that I was in an audience of all white people and had only one Asian woman in the audience. The truth is that I had numerous Asian friends and other friends of many other ethnicities at my party. They are claiming that the Asian woman watching my performance was unhappy and uncomfortable, and that I was heartless to perform with a funny Neenja accent. They are taking my lyrics out of context and trying to construe them as mean and derogatory.
The Asian woman they are referring happened to be the only Asian friend of mine on camera. She met me that night for the first time. She has become a good friend of mine. She is a very sweet young woman who likes me and likes my song. English is not her first language as she moved here from China only a few years ago. The night of my party she didn't understand much of what I was was singing, and her shy smile and somewhat perplexed expression has been falsely misrepresented by the media and bloggers all over. She is a private and shy person and I feel bad that she is being dragged through this too.
For those people that were hurt by my song, please understand that it was taken out of context and misconstrued. I promise it was not mean-spirited. I have a big heart and I'm a goof-ball. I'm not perfect, and I don't always hit the mark. I have a very charismatic personality and grew up in a big family with a lot of humor joking around. I am a performer and a comedian. I have done many accents and impersonations in my videos, but usually I simply poke fun at myself for being a blonde and having "blonde moments". I drive a kids Barbie Jeep in my videos, I wear ring-pops, and I drink out of sippy cups. My character "GoGirl" is like a kid at heart, is not perfect, and falls down a lot... but she's always trying to spread smiles and never gives up.
I'm afraid Jennifer Murphy has missed the point.
This is not about her charismatic personality or how many Asian friends she has. This is about creating and performing a shitty racist song, and being completely oblivious to this fact.