Comedian Esther Ku has been accused of making ‘racist’ remarks about Asian-American men, prompting a widespread backlash from social justice warriors who took issue with her jokes. Speaking to DANGEROUS, Ku mocked her detractors.
Thoughts and prayers for those unable to take a joke.
Last week, Asian-centric publication Nextshark reported on a number of jokes shared by the emerging Korean-American comic, which prompted its authors to condemn her for “using racist, self-hating Asian jokes for laughs.” The complaints against her were also reported in the New York Post.
“White men shouldn’t have to be made to feel bad about their attraction to [Asian females]. They make nicer partners than wife beating Asian men,” she quipped in 2016. “Don’t act like these self driving cars aren’t being made for us chinks,” joked Ku in a 2017 tweet.
These tweets, among many others, were leveled against Ku as proof of “racism.” She laughed off the accusations in an interview with DANGEROUS.
“These Asians are really giving cool Asians like us a bad name!” said the Chicago native, after I pointed out that comedians of other ethnic backgrounds, including Chris Rock, Dave Chapelle, and Larry David, have banked on their ethnicity as a source of their most popular jokes.
Ku, the daughter of two Korean Christian missionaries, says that the complaints against her were triggered by a recent video segment she published mocking Asian stereotypes.
How to get an Asian girlfriend according to me and @FunnyRosie: https://t.co/XgYpC4zkMf
She described her detractors as “the same Asians who got mad about the mini Asian accountants at the Oscars,” telling DANGEROUS that they took various replies she’d written to her friends on Twitter to complain about her.
“They should be happy for me that I broke out of the doctor mold and became a comedian but instead they want me to fit into their idea of what a good Asian should be,” said Ku.
Ku has appeared in a number of mainstream comedy TV shows, including Last Comic Standing and NBC’s Stand-up for Diversity Showcase. She is a leading cast member on the sketch show Sorry Not Sorry.
“They claim I am pandering to the white man allowing for the fetishization of Asian women,” said Ku. “And [they’re] even blaming me for the murders of Asian women for creating this culture.”
“Why is it my fault if an Asian girl wants to date a white guy or a black guy or a Latino guy? What came first? The Esther Ku joke or the interracial dating?” Ku asked rhetorically.
“I think they view white men as the devil and they have been indoctrinated to not trust anyone outside their race,” said Ku of her detractors. “They label me white-washed. I did grow up in a white neighborhood. What am I supposed to do? Not make friends with my white devil classmates?”
Despite the online backlash, Ku says that things couldn’t have worked out better for her.
“In fact some venues were like ‘why couldnt you be racist last week so we could sell more tickets?,’” she says.
“Most white folks I know are not plotting to keep Asians down,” continued Ku. “Most white folks I know actually admire Asians for our business savvy, straight hair, and yoga bodies.”
“The type of Asians who get upset about this also say that if your dad is white and your mom is Asian you’re the product of white supremacy,” she said. “How is that possible? If he was a white supremacist, he would have procreated with a white woman!”
I asked Esther if she had anything to say to her haters.
“I’d like to say – I am allowed to make fun of my own ethnic group because Richard Belzer told me I could on Last Comic Standing,” said Ku.
“I also grew up in a working-class family in a working-class neighborhood of Chicago where it was common to make jokes about ourselves,” she continued. “Maybe these ‘intellectual’ Asians should walk a mile in my shoes, take the self-righteous wedgie out of their asses and learn to laugh at themselves.”
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