A Hong Kong social media star drew social media’s ire over an incredibly offensive and disturbing parody video of viral sensation “Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen.”
The video, divided in two separate yet equally racist segments, shows actor Derek Wong wearing brownface and a traditional Indian sari, dancing to modified lyrics of the song loaded with a litany of negative stereotypes — including the idea that Indian women belong in the kitchen and Indian food is unhealthy.
He even shouts “Indian auntie” at one point in the clip.
The badly attempted accent, which Wong claimed he learned from his Indian friends while studying in the United States, just made the matters worse.
However, following the massive backlash, Wong not only had to remove the controversial video, he even had to offer an apology.
“My original intention of making these video clips was purely to entertain through portraying different characters without ill intention,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “After seeing the responses, I understand that it has failed miserably and I deeply regret my actions...Moving forward, I will definitely be more careful and sensitive when selecting my performance materials.”
While some fans seem to have accepted the excuse, others are calling Wong out on his attention-seeking ways.
“OMG, not sure whether I'm being overly politically correct but I find this racist, or at least racially stereotypical,” commented one online user, while another wrote: “It's all about having fun and yet some people are way too sensitive and being judgmental.”
Interestingly, this is not the first time Wong has made headlines. Not too long ago, he put on a one-man show called “My Very First Time,” described by The Wall Street Journal as a comedy-drama about "an Asian boy in the U.S. dealing with grief, sexuality and racial discrimination.”
Talk about irony.
Frank H. Wu, a law professor at University of California, told the Huffington Post that this type of racism could be traced back to the absence of a “pan-Asian” identity in Asia.
“They don’t really have the experience of being in the minority,” the professor explained. “They tend, as whites in America do, to assume that if you’re equal, then disparagement also is equal. You can do it to me; I can do it to you, so what’s the problem?”