Monday, August 04, 2008

Asian Women = Hot Babes

ABC's Martin Bashir has Asian fever.

First of all, who the heck is Martin Bashir? You may recognize him on ABC's Nightline... his claim to fame before that was interviewing Michael Jackson in a 2003 documentary. Bashir caught Jackson looking especially creepy if I remember correctly. I couldn't watch the whole thing because, well, I was creeped out.

Anyway, Bashir made a statement last week at the UNITY conference in Chicago (for "journalists of color".) What he said made me puke in my mouth a little bit.

Bashir made a tasteless remark when he spoke in front of a group of Asian American Journalists. According to the Star Tribune, shortly after he began, Bashir remarked how exciting it was for him to be in a room full of great looking "Asian babes." Then he said he was glad to be standing behind a podium so no one could see how excited he really was.


The senior VP of ABC News, Jeffrey Schneider, says, "This kind of remark has no place in any setting and Martin knows that and is truly sorry for his serious error in judgment."

ABC's Juju Chang described it as a "ridiculous joke." "I thought 'oh, man, what an inappropriate thing to say.' But I've known Martin for a long time. He's a good man who said a dumb thing. He has since apologized to me for his boorishness and I know he deeply regrets it," Chang said in a statement.

Here's Bashir's letter of apology:
Dear Madam,

I wanted to write and apologize for an inappropriate comment that I made at the AAJA dinner last Friday and for the offence that it caused to those present. Upon reflection, it was a tasteless remark that I now bitterly regret. I am grateful to you for the opportunity to address those present and hope that the continuing work of the organization will not by harmed or undermined by my moment of stupidity.

Yours truly,

M Bashir

However, you know I can't let this rant go by. Why, for the love of Pete, can't people stop talking? I understand it wasn't a malicious joke, but it still annoys me. Let's be real. Why would he say that? This joke teeters the line of objectifying Asian women.
Why would he address an entire crowd of Asian people that way? That is why I say he objectified Asian women... you can't address an entire race/culture/skin tone/group in a way that is sexual and frankly, dirty. If you do, then 1) you come across as a perv and 2) you come across as a perv who objectifies people.

Would he have addressed the other groups at UNITY in the same manner? (The National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Native American Journalists Association were all present for the convention.) "Thanks for having me. I'm so glad to speaking in front of all these hot, black babes," I imagine Bashir saying. "Wow! These Native American women are giving me a stiffy!," if only Bashir would've said.

Saying "Asian babes" certainly does not reach the obscenity levels of those XXX-rated companies that portray Asian women as submissive, exotic, and loose... but I do think it's too close for comfort. I certainly would not want to spend ANY time with a man who asked me out on a date simply because I am Asian-looking. Gross! I suppose it can be an added bonus since it does have something to do with my identity, but I've met plenty of guys who are only interested in Asian women. I have a friend who calls them "VANILLA RICERS"! Icks-nay on the anilla ricers-vay.


Aaron said...

My wife's two cents: People have their preferences on the types of people they like. Some choose nationality as a characteristic. I think that's just a reality. Granted, in a professional setting, he could've kept his preferences to himself. I think the most offensive part, however, was that he said he was glad he was standing behind the podium. Isn't he Asian himself (at least from that descent)? Nobody hates on black people for liking black people.

My two cents: I'm surprised to learn that Martin Bashir likes women of any nationality or race. Watch out Lisa Ling!

Michelle said...

Yeah, I agree with you in the sense that people like what they like. But if it's some weird fantasy thing, then it creeps me out... which I'm not saying that Bashir was saying it was... I was just going on a rant. I mean, Jim really likes my features, and I like the fact that he likes my features... but if he was a serial Asian dater, I'd be turned off. (which he's not)

Besides that, when I was younger, I always had crushes on blondes. Go figure.

Do you think Bashir really meant to say he likes Asian men?

Aaron said...

Well, my gaydar has gone off a few times when I've seen him on Nightline. So, yeah, I was surprised he wasn't trippin over the Asian male journalists in the house.

Oh, and I guess he is of Pakistani descent... just in case anyone cares.

Michelle said...

You know, you can buy a gaydar for about $50.

(The Office joke)

Anonymous said...

So can we all agree that we should pretty much 1) Keep our sexual preferences to ourselves, does anybody really care what your sexual preference is unless they are interested in you? 2) Don't judge people who like a certain race, theirs or another anymore than we judge those who like a certain sex, theirs or another. Maybe we are too into what we want as individuals and not enough into what others don't care about.