Bob’s Burgers and Archer star H. Jon Benajamin found himself in hot water and apologized Sunday after tweeting a joke many Twitter users called out for being racist and offensive.
“Quick idea for the name of a tea shop- ‘ooh me so horny, me love you oolong time tea shop,’” Benjamin wrote in a since-deleted tweet.
Hours later, Benjamin apologized in a subsequent pair of tweets, writing the “joke” was “lazy and incompetent and formulated quickly while making a cup of oolong tea.”
The original line comes from 1987’s Stanley Kubrick-directed Vietnam War film Full Metal Jacket, where a pair of Marines are approached by a Da Nang prostitute who propositions them for sex by saying “me so horny” and “me love you long time.”
“The fact that it was a famous line in a movie does not give me license to make light of the big picture stereotyping Vietnamese people and Asian Americans in general,” Benjamin wrote. “I’m sorry I ever made that cup of tea. And thanks for making me realize his in quick order.”
“A sincere apology goes an oolong way,” wrote one Twitter user in response. “I’m Asain [sic] and before my disappoint for that joke could steep, you swallowed your pride by giving some acknowledge-mint to the bitter origins of that expression.”
Wrote one commenter, “You’re awesome. You didn’t mean anything bad by what you said, and don’t be sorry for making that tea.”
Another thanked Benjamin for “being a mature human about this,” writing, “Humanity is making a mistake. Maturity is admitting you made a mistake and apologizing.”
A different user deemed Benjamin’s apology an “honorable and competent” handling of the situation in light of the backlash, while others criticized Benjamin for the inappropriate attitude expressed in the tweet, which received over 300 ‘likes’ before it was removed.
“You didn’t just make light. You repeated a racist stereotype. Just admit you said something racist and stop blaming it on movies and your tea,” wrote one user.
Another refused the apology “for the pure fact that you would think of a ‘joke’ to make light of exploitation of Asian women.”
Bob’s Burgers will soon be under the ownership of Disney, who purchased the hefty entertainment assets of 21st Century Fox in a $71.3 billion bid in recent months. Disney made headlines over the summer for its swift firing of Roseanne Barr, star of the since-cancelled hit ABC sitcom Roseanne, who published a racist tweet aimed at Valerie Jarrett.
Disney also quickly fired Guardians of the Galaxy franchise writer-director James Gunn over tweets after his social media history resurfaced and tweets involving offensive subject matter like jokes of rape and pedophilia were brought to light.
The Full Metal Jacket exchange was famously sampled in 1989 hit song “Me So Horny” by rap group 2 Live Crew, which resulted in the group’s album As Nasty As They Wanna Be declared obscene by a Florida Federal District judge before the decision was overturned by the US Supreme Court.
“Goes an oolong way”
A sincere apology goes an oolong way. I'm Asain and before my disappointment for that joke could steep, you swallowed your pride by giving some acknowledge-mint to the bitter origins of that expression.— Jay (@Jayt0626) September 23, 2018
“A racist stereotype”
You didn't just make light.— Space Witches, Esq. (@popelizbet) September 23, 2018
You repeated a racist stereotype.
Just admit you said something racist and stop blaming it on movies and your tea.
Apology accepted. For the record, though, we blame inappropriate tweets on Ambien, not oolong tea.— Phatois (@nervoustwit) September 23, 2018
“I refuse your apology”
Hell naw. I refuse your apology and I'm going to show people how much of a racist you really are for the pure fact that you would think of a "joke" to make light of exploitation of Asian women.https://t.co/JXdXueFIzP— VacXcene-Nguyen (@VacXcene) September 23, 2018
ITT: white people quickly accepting an apology never meant for them. Also white people reassuring you that what you said “wasn’t even racist.” Why are y’all like this— John Bai (@BohnJai) September 23, 2018
“Archer is really not for you”
i found the joke to be offensive but i know your humor never means true offense - and for anyone that was really that upset over that tweet, I’m sorry but @archerfxx is really not for you...— Kate (libra) ♎️?☕️ (@kateofgrace) September 23, 2018
Thanks for showing some humili-tea— beep (@howisbeepjeepta) September 23, 2018
“[Shake my head]”
I almost fell over from how hard you rolled your eyes having to tweet this apology. SMH.— Kevin Natale (@KEVROK805) September 24, 2018
I'm Vietnamese and that was funny lol— Joey Luu (@crownofaragon) September 24, 2018