Disgrasian scrutinizes Japan Probe

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Disgrasian

Oh laaawd! Disgrasian doesn’t care about white people! Or should I say, “Wow! Disgrasian doesn’t care about white people? Really? That’s a strong statement! I guess that my post on the newest foreign face of McDonald’s Japan, Mr. James, is deemed safe or tame, considering the feedback previously received when questioning “selective rants from other bloggers on things right or wrong in Japan.”

In this case, Japan Probe responded to Disgrasian’s post on some foreigners in Japan riding the fence on racial issues, crying wolf,  or comparing the Mr. James ad campaign to stereotypical images of Asians (and others) in the US (and other) media. As Disgrasian bluntly stated: ““Karma’s one wacky bitch, isn’t it?” Read the update/response to Japan Probe below and tell us what you think!

[Disgrasian] “Oh dear. It seems that we’ve ruffled a few feathers. Last week, I wrote about a McDonald’s ad campaign in Japan featuring one “Mr. James,” a wacky gaijin nerd who speaks in broken Japanese (pictured), and the outrage that’s ensued over this depiction of white foreigners there. Regarding that outrage, I cited the blog Debito.org, written by an American who’s now a naturalized Japanese citizen, who 1) compared Mr. James to Stepin Fetchit–a reference that has since been removed from Debito’s post, although it was mentioned on Japan Probe, too–and 2) suggested that if McDonald’s put a “full-body ‘ching-chong-chinaman’ with funny glasses and protruding teeth saying ‘Me likee McFlied Lice,”’ it would never fly over here in America.

I’ve enjoyed Japan Probe in the past, but here their reading of my post is just fatuous and dumb. It’s not that I don’t think Mr. James is an unflattering stereotype of white people in Japan. And it’s not that I don’t care. But I find the outrage leveled at this Mr. James character by certain people to be verging on histrionic. Comparing Mr. James to Stepin Fetchit? Really?”

Click here for the rest of the Disgrasian story. By the way, it seems Time Magazine is looking for the teeth or beef in the McDonald’s Mr. Jame’s advertisement.

4 Comments

  1. Well I must start be saying that this whole McDonalds “Mr. James” thing is getting blown out of proportion. Much like Asians and Hispanics, African Americans understand what it is like to be portrayed in a negative light in the media. As a matter of fact, since the inception of visual media minorities have been portrayed as less than flattering or over the top stereotypical characters. One example I like to use is “The Jazz Singer” from the year 1927 in which Al Jolson is depicted in “Black Face.” Despite this film being hailed as the first to use synchronized sound and an innovation of the motion picture industry, the use of “Black Face” in my opinion is extremely offensive. Even today the use of black lawn jockeys, figurines of various black characters with exaggerated facial features makes me extremely angry. Personally speaking anyone that thinks the depiction of a nerdy white guy in a McDonald’s commercial is racist could use a bit of a reality check.
    The guy is a goofy tourist! Nothing more! I could see if Mr. James was the stereotypical gun toting southerner wearing overalls, spitting tobacco all while draping the “Rebel Flag” in the rear view window of an old puck up. Or the trailer park couch potato drinking cheep beer while watching NASCAR. These images would be extremely offensive because they depict Caucasians in a negative way. When it comes to negative stereotypes we are comparing apples and oranges here. This Mr. James character is no where close to the watermelon eating, monkey depictions of African Americans, or the sombrero wearing lazy Hispanic or the buck teeth slender eye Asian characters we see all too often in emails and political propaganda.

  2. Whether “karma” was said “jokingly” or (judging by the rest of the tone in the article) by design, it sure makes it seems they believe all non-asians practice stereotyping.

    Too bad.

    Didn’t know that site existed, won’t really return to it. But whatever that site-, angryasian or any other of similar ones are/were trying to socially improve…this has been quite a fail.

    But to bridge the gap just a little bit here, seeing how nice a guy I am, I’ll say this about those two:

    You bet I would.

  3. if McDonald’s put a “full-body ‘ching-chong-chinaman’ with funny glasses and protruding teeth saying ‘Me likee McFlied Lice,”’ it would never fly over here in America.

    Well, maybe not McDonalds, but KFC sure has no problem using Asian caricatures to sell its chicken.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpqTqtDT6t8

    Check out the two Asian actors wearing traditional (chefs?) clothing and speaking with an accent.

    Debito needs to check himself and his privilege.

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