The photograph of Miley Cyrus and other individuals slanting their eyes currently circulating the Internet is offensive to the Asian Pacific American community and sets a terrible example for her many young fans. This image falls within a long and unfortunate history of people mocking and denigrating individuals of Asian descent.
"Not only has Miley Cyrus and the other individuals in the photograph encouraged and legitimized the taunting and mocking of people of Asian descent, she has also insulted her many Asian Pacific American fans," said George Wu, executive director of OCA. "The inclusion of an Asian Pacific American individual in the photo does not make it acceptable."
"OCA hopes that Miley Cyrus will apologize to her fans and the APA community for this lapse in judgment and takes the opportunity to better understand why the gesture is offensive."
OCA is a national organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the United States.
Miley responded with the following on her official fansite:
"Ive also been told there are some people upset about some pictures taken of me with friends making goofy faces! Well, Im sorry if those people looked at those pics and took them wrong and out of context!
In NO way was I making fun of any ethnicity! I was simply making a goofy face. When did that become newsworthy? It seems someone is trying to make something out of nothing to me. If that would of been anyone else, it would of been overlooked! I definitely feel like the press is trying to make me out as the new 'BAD GIRL'!"
I feel like now that Britney is back on top of her game again, they need someone to pick on! Lucky me! haha Anyway, I just wanted to let you guys know what is on my heart. You guys know me and have been by my side every step of the way!
You guys know my heart and know the most important things to me are my friends, family, fans, and GOD! In NO WAY do I want to disappoint any of you! But, when I have made mistakes in the past, I feel like Ive owned up to them and apologized.
Anyway, I really wish everyone would stop focusing on my personal life and get back to focusing on what I love! Music and Acting! Hopefully, I will be touring again this fall! Yayy! =] It will be a nice change to be back out on the road again!
xoxo Blessings.. Miley =)"
The intentions of Miley and her friends may not have been racist, but I can understand why some would be offended by the photo. Although it's not as bad as Mickey Rooney's stereotyped portrayal of "Mr. Yunioshi" in the 1961 film Breakfast At Tiffany's, I think that Miley and her friends made a bad move by posing that way in the photo.
Miley didn't really help her case with the above "apology". She basically tried to blame the media for covering this story. I don't feel that members of the media should go digging through a celeb's trash or follow their every move, but being famous does mean that your missteps will be publicized for all the world to see.
Miley's slant eyed pose wasn't the worst thing she could have done so I'm not calling for The Disney Channel to yank Hannah Montana off the air or that the public boycotts her CDs. As those who read my pop culture blog know, I watch Hannah Montana on a regular basis and will continue to do so. Miley's slant eyed pose may have been nothing more than a 16 yr old making a "goofy face". However, if Miley and her other friends who pulled their eyes sideways don't feel they did anything wrong, they should at least acknowledge that their actions could be deemed offensive.