Kate Gosselin wants to set the record straight: she did not mock Asians.
On Sunday, a controversial photo mysteriously surfaced on Twitter. In this photo, Kate is slanting her eyes, a gesture that many critics have deemed as disrespectful towards Asians.
Today, the mother of 8 took the time to explain the context of this photo, and to defend herself against allegations of racial insensitivity.
Kate explains that this was an old photo that had been stolen from her home computer without permission. She explains that a fan had sent her a plastic Asian dress-up wig, and that she and her then-husband Jon Gosselin had been smiling and "goofing off" together.
In her blog, Kate writes, "Naturally, I 'slanted' my eyes to show him my best Asian impression, which made him smile."
Regarding the dress-up wig, Kate writes, "Evidently, a fan sent it for me to wear so that I too could 'be Asian' like the rest of my family. At that time, a common topic of our show was 'everybody's Asian' - except for mommy, so a thoughtful fan figured she'd help me look Asian too! "
The former "Dancing With the Stars' contestant wants to make it clear that she is not prejudiced against Asians. She writes, "I married an Asian. I have eight biracial children therefore I'm quite certain that I'm the last person that could be called a racist. I learned to cook Korean foods from Jon's mom and grandmother. I couldn't be more proud of my eight beautiful children and wouldn't change anything about them or their heritage. They are absolutely perfect just the way they are."
Kate is not the only famous figure who has dealt with similar controversy. Here's a look at other celebs who have gotten in trouble for similar blunders.
Back in 2009, the then-"Hannah Montana" star came under fire when a party photo surfaced of her and her friends slanting their eyes. Although Miley apologized for the photo, it wasn't enough to appease several Asian American advocacy groups.
Lucie Kim of Los Angeles filed a $4 billion lawsuit ($4,000 for each Asian or Pacific Islander living in Los Angeles County)! Eventually, the lawsuit was dismissed. I was in agreement with the ruling. The photo may have been a bit tasteless, but not enough to justify a $4 billion lawsuit!
Shortly after the Miley photo incident, the Jonas brother found himself at the receiving end of backlash when a photo surfaced of him slanting his eyes.
While the photo prompted heated debates all over spectrum (and arguments we've likely heard before), my favorite comment came from a HuffPost reader who wrote, "what's really offensive is that sleeveless '80s animal print thing he's wearing."
Last month, comedian Hasan Minhaj blasted Ashton for a PopChips commercial that he deemed as racially insensitive towards Indians.
In this ad, Ashton darkened his skin, sported a sleazy mustache, spoke with a cartoon-like accent, and called himself "Raj."
On his web series, "The Truth with Hasan Minhaj," the comedian made some interesting points. His gripe wasn't so much that the ad was racist, but rather that "it wasn't even funny." He pointed out that the accent wasn't authentic, and that Indian people didn't talk that way. As he commented, "If you're going to be racist, come correct with your racism!"
Hasan also pointed out what he perceived as a double standard in today's pop culture. "Subconsciously, they [PopChips] knew they could get away with clowning Indians and Asians because that's the way it is now. They wouldn't do that with any other ethnicity."
He continued, "There's a barbecue flavor of PopChips. Why didn't you make him black-faced and Tyrone? Why didn't you do that? Because you knew you'd get f-ing buried, PopChips. That's why, because you know that Indians and Asians are the new 'clownable' minority."
Did Kate behave disrespectfully in that photo? Or was she just having a bit of fun? Did Kate, Miley, Joe, and Ashton display cultural insensitivity in their behavior? Or are the political correctness advocates over-reacting?
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