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“Jonah from Tonga” is an Insult to Asian Pacific Americans

Thursday, August 14, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kham Moua
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“Jonah from Tonga” is an Insult to Asian Pacific Americans


14 August 2014


Kenneth Lee | Acting Chief Executive Officer

202 223 5500 |

WASHINGTON, D.C. – OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, a national membership-driven organization of community advocates dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs), is outraged at the HBO mockumentary “Jonah from Tonga and its outrageous use of brown face.

Sharon M. Wong said: “We denounce this mockumentary as entertainment; it is nothing more than white privilege masquerading as comedy. The racist misrepresentation of Tongan people and culture is an insult to the Asian Pacific American community, providing fodder for perpetuating stereotypes and racial profiling, especially of our young men.”

OCA Utah President, Karen Kwan, said: “We condemn the show “Jonah from Tonga”. It exhibits insulting and disrespectful behaviors. The show depicts sexually explicit jokes of a brother to his sister, disrespectful behavior of religiosity, and violence against elders and respected members of the community. Lilley exploits these cultural taboos all for monetary gain. We implore HBO to remove this production from their programming list, and we seek to discuss cultural competency issues with HBO, especially with regards to Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.”

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