OCA Questions Tone and Intent of Rosie O’Donnell Apology
Washington, DC – OCA, a national Asian Pacific American organization dedicated to ensuring social justice for APAs, questions the tone and intent of Rosie O’Donnell’s apology for comments made on "The View” on December 5th, and its implications on the Asian Pacific American population.
O’Donnell apologized during the December 14th episode of her show, "The View,” after public outcry by the APA community over her mocking of Chinese newscasters. "You know, it was never [my] intent to mock, she said, "and I'm sorry for those people who felt hurt or were teased on the playground.” She further went on to characterize her accent as "Chinese, Asian, pseudo-Japanese, sounded a little Yiddish ..."
"I am very concerned about the tone and intent of Ms. O’Donnell’s so called ‘apology,’” said OCA National President Ginny Gong. "I don’t believe she fully realizes the seriousness of what she did in front of millions of Americans and the impact it has on our community. Jokes used by comics should not be at the expense of an entire population of people. As a very public figure, she is an influential role model and should lead by example,” she added.
"OCA would never condone the mocking of any language in this manner and tone,” commented Michael Lin, OCA Executive Director. "O’Donnell does not show the respect that all Americans are entitled to, nor do we think she realizes how this type of language can manipulate itself into much more serious and potentially violent acts. We will be calling on our chapters and affiliates to proactively educate our community and the community-at-large to ensure that such incidents are not repeated.”
One of the basic points of the OCA/Allstate Hate Crime Education and Prevention program is that deceptively simple acts and comments are the root and catalyst of hate crimes and bias incidents. O’Donnell and many others may not have considered her comments racist and only intended in jest. However, these comments when left unaddressed, can lead to much more serious incidents and crimes. For more information contact the OCA National Office.