Jay Leno Apologizes For Previous Harmful Asian Jokes
Jay Leno is apologizing for some Asian-American jokes he made earlier in his career. Attacks [...]
Jay Leno is apologizing for some Asian-American jokes he made earlier in his career. Attacks against members of that community have been rapidly rising over the last year. In response, a lot of people are asking entertainers to reexamine their material and focus on how their words are affecting others. The venerated comedian put out a statement with the Media Action Network for Asian Americans to show his remorse for some of that old material. According to a Variety report, he's made some off-color jokes about Koreans during America's Got Talent filming that have made members of the staff uncomfortable. But, with these words in the release today, Leno is hoping to begin moving forward with the understanding that his jokes have weight behind them.
"At the time I did those jokes, I genuinely thought them to be harmless," Leno said in the press release. "I was making fun of our enemy North Korea, and like most jokes, there was a ring of truth to them."
Jay Leno apologizes for two decades of racist Asian jokes. pic.twitter.com/K8Lqmexsrx— chris evans (@chris_notcapn) March 24, 2021
The comedian would continue, "At the time, there was a prevailing attitude that some group is always complaining about something, so don't worry about it. Whenever we received a complaint, there would be two sides to the discussion: Either 'We need to deal with this' or 'Screw 'em if they can't take a joke.' Too many times I sided with the latter even when in my heart I knew it was wrong."
"I am issuing this apology. I do not consider this particular case to be another example of cancel culture but a legitimate wrong that was done on my part," Leno added. "MANAA has been very gracious in accepting my apology. I hope that the Asian American community will be able to accept it as well, and I hope I can live up to their expectations in the future."
Most of the jokes in Leno's past that he's apologizing for center around that dog meat stereotype. Things like that may have played different in other decades, but Asian-American viewers and fans had been asking about those parts of his routines for a long time.
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