This commercial debuts on TV during the American Music Awards. Takei, who's a hero to Asian Americans, gay people and sci-fi geeks the world over, is just so shameless about having fun in everything he does...
Just saw this TV commercial for Priceline, and it made us bust out laughing. We've seen Kenny Choi in all kinds of roles from soldier to gangster to doctor, but never a mild-mannered husband doing a dead-on impression of William Shatner:
When I posted the video yesterday, of a 1970s Calgon commercial that showed Asian Americans in a stereotypical role as laundry shop owners who used an "ancient Chinese secret" to get clothes cleaner, it was an homage to an earlier era when such stereotypes in pop culture were commonplace. I didn't expect that one day after Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month ended, I'd be alerted to a new commercial that uses a fresher stereotype that still portrays us as foreigners.
The TV commercial for KFC's new "Kentucky Grilled Chicken" shows a bunch of people paired up, arguing whether they like fried or grilled chicken better. You can now have both in the same bucket, KFC announces. The problem is, of the quick flashes of people, there are whites and blacks, young people and older, and... two Asian men dressed as sushi chefs, with their "hachimaki" headbands, hapi coats and aprons.
At first glance, they look like they're wearing martial arts "gi" (the loose-fitting fighting clothes), which would have made it even worse.
What's worse, is that these two dudes, who may or may not actually be Japanese, speak in Japanese accents.
"Ancient Chinese secret, huh?"
In honor of the final day of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I wanted to share an iconic classic television commercial. I grew up with the accusing tone of the white woman who catches the affable Asian laundry owner in a lie, ringing in my head.
The TV commercial was for Calgon water softener, and the scene is in a Chinese laundry shop, run by "Mr. Lee." Here's the quite accurate description of the 30-second flash of Asian stereotype from the YouTube page that features the video: