racist caricatures for your kitchen

Everybody's talking about this little guy today... it's the Mr. Chin Kitchen Timer, brought to you by Alessi, everybody's favorite designer of overpriced kitchen items shaped like stereotypical Asian caricatures. Yay. You may remember the Mandarin Juicer from way back. The thing has been around for years, despite numerous campaigns to get this thing off the shelves (here's a recent effort). It's obvious they simply don't care. Case in point, Mr. Chin here. Along with his pals, the Egg Cup with Salt Castor and Spoon and the Salt and Pepper Set. Because everybody needs a few stylish yet oh-so-functional racist Chinaman figures in their kitchen!

The product was recently featured on Uncrate, which acknowledges its "questionable use of ethnic stereotypes," but then goes on to recommend it anyway. To make matters worse, the insanely popular Pinkberry yogurt chain has chosen Alessi products as its decor of choice (at least, the locations I've visited), including the friggin' Mandarin Juicer. No doubt, we'll soon see Mr. Chin here join the collection. Why is it that Asians are constantly subjected and reduced to this kind of ridiculous physical stereotyping? That's racist! If you've got something to say about Mr. Chin, here's Alessi's contact information in the United States (the company is a subsidiary of Alessi S.P.A. in Italy):

155 Spring St. - 4th Floor
10012 NEW YORK
Tel. 212 4311310
Fax 212 4311390

There are also online contact forms on the Alessi site. Chances are, they're not going to do a damn thing, but it's still important you tell them how you feel about this product. Give 'em hell. (Thanks, Rog.)

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