Genderlicious: Dear Olivia Munn

Thanks to Elisha and Ryan for the image and Anthony for the language consultation! IMG_7642 (2)

While I was writing our weekly True Blood roundtable with my Racialicious peeps on Tuesday, Tami Winfrey Harris said:

Watching King Russell go rogue on national TV made me think of the dread many POC feel when the media spotlights a member of our race doing something bad, dysfunctional or stereotypical–that sense that the bad behavior of another will stick to you in a society that lumps every brown person together. I just pictured vamps across the States watching Russell and shaking their heads. Aw, shit! This motherfucker…My neighbor is going to be giving me all kinds of side-eye tomorrow!

Don't worry if you don't get the King-Russell-going-rogue reference: what I wanted to share with you was Tami's observation that people of color often feel anxious, sad, angry or personally hurt when a member of their race does something stereotypical in public.

I rarely feel this way, despite the fact that I proudly identify as a woman of color. The reasons for this are various—the shorthand version is that, in the genetic lottery that was my parents' interracial English-Irish-Chinese-Singaporean union, I came out looking pretty ambiguous. Unlike my sibling who looks pretty mixed but also clearly Chinese, I have Inverted Chameleon Face: wherever I am, I look like I'm from somewhere else. People can tell I'm mixed, but they're not totally sure what I am. (So yes, this means that many a time people have asked me what are you?... the worst time was when dudes at a bar where I worked placed bets on "what I was" and then called me over to settle the debate.) Thusly, growing up in Singapore, folks always thought I was white. Now that I live in North America, I am never really sure if people read me as Asian, white, or Other.

So, I don't know whether or not others associate me with any public bad behavior carried out by my people. And usually, because I identify as a mixed race woman of color, I feel equally steamed about racist or sexist or racist sexist behavior directed against any group—and this is why I write for Racialicious, pan-ethnic space for people of color extraordinaire—whether it's the Oscar Grant verdict or the politics of transracial adoption.  But I rarely feel personally hurt.

And then I came across Olivia Munn.

So I decided to write Olivia a letter.

Dear Olivia Munn,

There has been a lot of noise about you over the past two months. And it has mostly been about how you are a woman, and how that identity influences your career. Namely people have said that you are not funny, and that therefore the only reason why you got your incredibly coveted position at the Daily Show is because you are beautiful.

But I am writing to you today not to talk about lady business. Instead I want to talk about how we are both mixed race Southeast Asian high femme ladies, and you are the first mixed race Southeast Asian lady I have ever seen on American television (I am not counting Cassie because she had hardly a line in Step Up 2: The Streets). Your work at the Daily Show has made me feel sad, alone, and quite a bit like crying, despite the fact that I have a shriveled angry little anti-racist feminist heart, and it's rare that things on TV hurt my feelings anymore.

I'm not going to argue about whether or not you got where you got because the male-dominated worlds of gaming and comedy value women who are beautiful, over women who are competently funny, because that horse has been beat to death. And also, comedy is pretty subjective and obviously you have a lot of fans, so clearly there is an audience for your style.

What angers me about your comedy, Olivia Munn, is how it is built on gleeful collusion with misogyny and racism. If we're talking about the race stuff, unlike other comedians of colour (Katt Williams! Dave Chappelle! Russell Peters!) whose jokes—while hit or miss with the kyriarchy—rely on poking fun at white racism, your jokes generally rely on racist stereotypes about your own damn people, to get a laugh out of a racist white audience.

Sady at Tiger Beatdown has done a great job of talking about how your comedy requires you to consent to misogyny, or at least smile painfully while something f-ed up happens around or to you:

...[Attack of the Show] continually cast her in misogynist skits that "proved" to the audience that they could control her and she would like it: Skits that played to the audience's frustrations with women, their feelings of inadequacy and insecurity, and their continual rage that real-life girls couldn't be controlled by mashing the buttons on their PlayStation consoles. One golden example of this — so effective, apparently, that they repeated it over and over again — was the comedy/technology news chestnut I like to call "We Can Make Olivia Put Her Mouth On It." It went like this:

ANNOYING FRAT DUDE HOST WITH BAD RYAN SEACREST HAIR: Guess what, presumed-to-be-male audience members? A new piece of technology, relevant to your interests, has come out today! And now, Olivia Munn will lick it.

MALE LIVE AUDIENCE: (Creepily.) Wooo!

OLIVIA MUNN: Oh, no, I'm not going to lick that!

RYAN SEACREST HAIR: Oh, yes, you are, Olivia! Lick it! Lick it because I am a man, and told you to!

MALE LIVE AUDIENCE: (Extremely creepily.) Woooooooooo!

OLIVIA MUNN: (Licks it.)

MALE LIVE AUDIENCE: (At this point, creepy enough to merit several dozen restraining orders.) WWWWWWOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

RYAN SEACREST HAIR: Wow, you sure do like to lick it, Olivia!

OLIVIA MUNN: Ha, ha ha ha ha! You are so funny!

[END SCENE.]

Sady included this video of you on Attack of the Show, when Kevin Pereira presses a balloon against your ass with his crotch until it busts. I—again—was surprised by how much that video upset me, because it is so incredibly clear (unless you are a great actor) how much you did not want what happened to happen to you. At the end the camera pauses on your face, and it genuinely looks like you want to cry—as the creepy, mostly male audience cackles with delight. In the same article, Sady has this to say about the misogynist nature of your career:
The fact that it was [Munn's] job to appease her audience's geek misogyny, and that she built a brand that gave her misogynist audience what they wanted (read: hot bikini pics) doesn't mean she's a bad evil slutty bimbo. It just shows that she was smart enough to capitalize on her fan base, and that hot bikini pics were the surest way to keep that particular audience interested. Ain't none of this slut-shaming. Girls have to get by, and if you are a girl and work in the entertainment industry, this is one of the ways to do it. It's depressing, but it's true, and hating on individual players for seeing the options open to them and taking them isn't cool. Or feminist.

I agree with Sady and I can see that your options on Attack of the Show were to be the pretty girl who liked being physically humiliated, or be fired. But I don't think that the way you were subject to misogyny on Attack of the Show is similar to the way racism bolsters your comedy on the Daily Show.

On Attack of the Show, you tolerated misogyny, because Attack of the Show is an inherently misogynist space. On the Daily Show, you don't tolerate racism, you actually bring it with you, and carry it out. On Attack of the Show you were the butt (often literally) of the joke, on the Daily Show, you make the (racist) jokes. And the Daily Show, while fairly racist at times, is not inherently racist. How do I know? Because out of all the correspondents of colour, you are the only one who consistently bases their jokes on racist stereotypes.

Out of the three segments you've done on TDS, the only one that I have found fairly funny was the one that didn't rely on racism or xenophobia: this bit about SB1070 in Arizona. The Kremlins 2 segment leaned strongly on the idea that Russians are stupid, foreign accents sound ridiculous, and Arabic is weird and yicky. But the one that takes the White Racism Collusion cake, is your first segment, the one that started it all: The Spilling Fields.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Spilling Fields - Vietnamese Fisherman
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Just so we're all on the same page, I thought I would break this segment down into: what you said, and which racist stereotype it corresponds to.

1. What you said: Vietnamese words, in a very poor Vietnamese accent, punctuated by American swears

Racist stereotype: East Asian languages sound like gibberish! Like cuss words! THEY'RE FOREIGN! 

2. What you said: "No one is forgetting about the blacks, ok?"

Racist stereotype: All black people do is complain and whine about non-existent racism! (Even when they are talking about Hurricane Katrina, one of the US's worst humanitarian crises, which oddly enough, mostly affected black people!)  

3. What you said: (in response to Aasif Mandvi saying he's Asian) "No you're Indian... Asian-ish."

Racist stereotype: Asia only has maybe, two countries in it, say, China and Japan? 

Ok so that last one is not so much a stereotype as much it is willful ignorance on the part of a Western population who refuse to acknowledge that Asia is a ginormous continent that encapsulates countries like India (and hey, Kazakhstan! And Syria!), by insisting that Asian means "Chinese-looking." 

Which allows us to segue into:

4. What you said did: Allowed your first segment for TDS, about Vietnamese people, to be called "The Spilling Fields." Get it, spilling rhymes with Killing, as in the Killing Fields?

Racist stereotype: Ha! Ha! There are so many small and insignificant countries in Asia that I can't keep them straight or figure out that the Killing Fields, one of the most shocking instances of genocide in the past fifty years wherein 200,000 people died, actually happened IN CAMBODIA NOT IN VIETNAM.

Even when your family is from Vietnam, Olivia? You're really going to go along with this?  

5. What you said BONUS! From a web exclusive for the Daily Show talking about your new book: Mimic your mother's Chinese accent for a full minute, followed by the statement: "Seriously mom, you've been in America for a long time. Lose the accent."

Racist stereotype: Immigrants don't speak English properly because they're too lazy to bother learning how to talk like Americans. 

These five jokes are only funny, if you think racism is funny. These five jokes are for white people, not for Asian people.  

It actually hurts to see you up next to Wyatt Cenac and Aasif Mandvi, who do not, for the most part, feel the need to make jokes about their own people in order to be funny... often their jokes revolve around white ignorance or discomfort with people of color.  The line between comedy and racism in jokes about race is often: who is this joke for? Is this comedian laughing with people of color, or at them?

As Kate Rigg says:

I'm offended when I see comics get onstage going "…and then I went to the Laundromat. Ching-chong, ching-chong, ching-chong!" Then I'm fucking offended. When someone tells a joke about Asian people and there's no actual joke – the joke is the Asian people. The joke is [racist-comic voice] the funny way they talkie-talkie! "They don't use proper diction! Only verb and noun! Verb and noun!" I just heard a comic that I respect doing that fucking joke the other night. An Asian comic. And I was like, "Dude! Write a punch line or you're just being racist!"

Or as I have said in the past about Russell Peters, (even though I have since retracted some of my Peters love): 

Latoya used the phrase "in house jokes" to refer to jokes that communities of colour will only tell to each other. These are jokes that are only funny when told by the people of colour they make fun of, to an audience of colour. Peters' jokes are different – while they definitely would not be the funny if told by a white person they work for all stripes of audiences, because they aren't crafted for a white audience.
...There can be great power in creating your comedy/writing/art/blog posts for readers of colour, even when your audience is white. Jokes that are for ourselves don't marginalise or exclude white folks, they just don't focus on them. Many writers and artists of colour I know are driven primarily by the desire to make art for us, which in itself seems revolutionary when so much art has existed to marginalise us.

Not only do your jokes exclude me Olivia, they are at my expense. 

Even if, once upon a time, you had to suck up the misogyny of Attack of the Show—and other male media outlets, like Playboy who tried to force you to pose naked against your will—now you are famous enough that you have power, and you have choices. And yet, instead of standing up for us, like Wyatt Cenac, Aasif Mandvi, or even, so help me God, Ken Jeong, you side with white racism, and you sacrifice your people. You sacrifice your own freakin' mother.  And don't think I haven't noticed that the strident racism of your comedy is even more problematic because you have a white daddy, and therefore have white privilege. I have a white mama. I see what you're doing Olivia. I do.   

And don't tell me that you think we live in a post-racial, post-feminist world. I have read your frankly heartbreaking accounts in interviews of the sexism and the racism that you and your mother experienced in your life. 

So look around you. How many other mixed race Southeast Asian ladies do you see on TV? How many Southeast Asian people, period, do you see on TV? 

We have no one until now, and what we get, after all we've been through—after all the racist sexism, after the yellow fever, after the mail order bride websites, after deportation threats, after not being taken seriously, as competent, or smart, or human, every day of our lives because of how we look—what we get, is you?  

That's some fucked up shit.  

I'm not even asking you to stand up for us, or make progressive comedy—even though that is, supposedly, what TDS does. Just stop with the racist jokes.

Because all of us—even you—deserve better than this. 

Yours truly,

Thea Lim

Comments

38 comments have been made. Post a comment.

agreed

Thank you! I watched the internet clip with my partner who is part Japanese and who's grandmother still has a heavy accent. He was not amused.
That and her performance on Attack of the Show! has been years worth of grief for me. For some unfathomable reason, nerds in my life who watch that show have had a tendency to think that using women as punch lines is just good fun and we should all react with "Ha, ha ha ha ha. You are so funny!"
Wow. Just thinking about that show has made me depressed.
All that aside, well written piece with clear points.

"These five jokes are only

"These five jokes are only funny, if you think racism is funny. These five jokes are for white people, not for Asian people."

I kind of don't understand what you're trying to imply in the sentence. It kind of sounds like you're generalizing that all whites would find these kinds of jokes funny. I definately don't, and my grandmother is an immigrant who has an accent, she gets treated the same way poor Olivia's mother does. It's not funny because it's for "white people", it's not funny because it's plain stupid.

Hi Anonymous, I don't think

Hi Anonymous,

I don't think Thea is saying all white people would find that joke funny, just as if it had actually been a non-offensive joke that ALL Asian people would have found it funny. Instead, it is in reference to Thea's theory about jokes about race: "The line between comedy and racism in jokes about race is often: who is this joke for? Is this comedian laughing with people of color, or at them?"

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Yes Kjerstin that is what I

Yes Kjerstin that is what I meant! Not that all white people will find such jokes funny, but that they pander to white folks.

For example, conflating Cambodia and Vietnam indicates that that particular joke is NOT for anyone who would know each country's separate history...a joke based on a historical inaccuracy is basically saying, we couldn't be bothered to do the research, and we don't really care about anyone who knows better. You would not hear a conflation of the histories of say, the US and Canada in jokes for a Western (white) audience.

Still with the white folks stuff?

So, "white folks" like myself never bother to research other people's countries, whereas every individual of every other race is as informed as could possibly be on the history of other countries?

Oh my yes, I just can't help myself from cracking up every time someone makes a joke about those generic Asian people, because, you know, as any white person will tell you they all look the same!

I don't mean to come off angry, but seriously, you should probably drop the white bashing.

I'm a white man (mostly French/German), who is as proud of his culture as any other individual of any other racial group is proud of their own while not hating on anyone else's, and I've never found any laughs in racist or sexist jokes. I don't even like the "Ole and Sven" jokes that are so popular up in my end of Minnesota.

I'm sorry, but as a prime example of a "white person" who this stuff is supposedly catering to, and as a man to boot (who is supposed to crack up and get turned on by all this awesome balloon-on-butt action. Seriously, that clips looks like a simulated rape, just awful), I really don't resemble the kind of white person you're trying to claim Olivia is pandering to.

Also, not all gamers have trouble with the ladies or a secret anger at constant rejection. I've known many who have no trouble experiencing perfectly equal relationships with the opposite, or the same, sex (and believe me, I went to a tech school, I've known many, many gaming geeks of many races and, yes, even sexes).

Some people actually manage to be people, not generic stereotypes that you can use to prove points.

You've got a lot of great points about how Olivia's going about her career all wrong, especially now that she has ample following to drop the stereotype act that panders to idiots, sexists, and bigots (not always white folks and not ALL white folks), but c'mon, for the growing demographic of us white men who actually don't harbor any hatred whatsoever for anyone else in the world, give the "white folks" and "creepy men who are totally misogynists" angles a rest. Please?

TommyD,

Please refer to Thea's above comment. The one where she reiterates that she does NOT think that all white folks find Munn's jokes funny, just that her jokes pander to a white audience as opposed to a racially diverse one. I think you may have misunderstood her point here.

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I'm sorry if I pushed this too far (mostly an apology)

I understand Thea's opinion that Olivia's jokes are made for a white audience, but I'm certain that there are plenty of people who aren't white harboring the same racism that would make them laugh at anti-Asian jokes.

I will respect her opinion and not attack further.

Living in a world where I am constantly accused of racism simply for being born a white man, despite the fact that I consider myself a feminist and I hold no prejudices against anyone, has made me somewhat touchy when people mention how racist comedy is made with me in mind.

If I pushed the matter too far, I apologize both to the community and to Thea, who I still maintain raised many good points about racists of all types and the kind of unacceptable humor that is far too available for them.

I noticed that I took her speaking about all men for granted, but on re-reading I see that Thea actually specified "misogynists," so I am very sorry for my comments assuming that her attacks against the horrible display of some guy basically attacking Olivia were meant for me. My comments on that were unnecessary and out of line.

I'm very, very used to women assuming that I have no respect for women simply because of the equipment nature dealt me and the fact that I work in a very "old boy" controlled industry - I could easily write an entire book about the horrible things those men say about women when they are along with the guys - and I've become a bit touchy to being automatically suspect and having to prove myself non-stop just to get some of the respect that I always try to give others. Perhaps too touchy, to the extent that I see sexism when it's not there.

I'm very sorry to jumping to that conclusion.

my response, based upon Tommy D's content, and not his identity

You know, most of the time I don't even respond to negativity like this ('cause seriously, there is SO much work that needs to be done right now), but I suppose I need to say something. Thank you, Tommy D, for providing enough content in sarcasm and denial to remind me what we work towards in our communities. Peace. Understanding. Progress. Cultivating positive influences as we move towards a more egalitarian society. Unfortunately, the brutal honesty I'm about to set loose is not going to sound as fuzzy as that last sentence.

Considering that the cluelessness of white/light skinned privilege is still rearing its ugly head in the United States, as so clearly demonstrated by Dr. Laura's most recent harmful lecture, I have to wonder why european americans don't get that we in our (non white, 20th/21st century immigrant) communities are not looking for MORE LECTURES. This was an incredibly articulate and well researched open letter to Olivia Munn.

Instead of understanding that context, you seized upon the opportunity to provide another unsolicited lecture about how we should respond when OUR culture, OUR identity is under attack from someone who espouses a european american viewpoint *at our expense*.

Next time, instead of acting upon the entitlement which comes with your societal privilege to misdirect your angst at us, I would encourage you to simply examine your inner turmoil. The content of your comments have belied so much guilt that you have totally acknowledged your privilege in this society; so please spare me your suggestions that I am basing my response solely on the color of your skin.

White supremacy in America hurts *everybody*. Whether you want to deny it to yourself, others who view you only as a white male will continue to uphold that *unearned* privilege, and maybe someday, when you are ready to address that issue as a lightskinned male ally, you will understand your proper place in questioning THEM, and not the author of an open letter to someone else of mixed heritage who SHOULD KNOW BETTER. (Shit, guy, I would NEVER EVER EVER EVER tell my mother to "lose the accent". Are you kidding me? Need I say more about why Ms. Munn needs to stop and take a reality check?)

Thank you in advance for not intruding upon that dialogue next time.

It's always an interesting study to observe how european americans respond to the scrutiny of humor which is catered to them, and take that observation SO. VERY. PERSONALLY. Nobody ever said everybody enjoyed it. BUT I can safely say that instead of leveraging your criticism of that humor towards people who pander it to society, those of us who are honest enough to say what needs to be said are the ones whom you attempt to smack down.

It's also often overlooked that when someone identifies as mixed and fully discloses that they are part white, that means we might also have this conflict happening IN OUR FAMILIES. Do you even understand the difficulty of navigating these issues with our relatives when prejudice shows up there? (Not that I'm saying this is the case in Thea's family, but I know from anecdotal evidence that it's not an uncommon problem, and it's also excruciatingly painful to even attempt to address. So please do not expect sympathy from me when you decide to attack the wrong people).

Do you know what the action of a true light skinned ally would be? Instruct your white male peers in how they should NOT treat others. That would be far more impressive to me and other activists who are working on these challenges, who have shaped coherent strategies for our white allies to join us in our work.

Whether you believe it or not, we've been fed quite enough lectures since we got to the States on how to become "acceptable" americans. I for one am sick of hearing this crap. And especially from members of the asian community who have fallen under the pressure from european americans in desperate attempts to fit in. I can't enable any of that, anymore, not with anybody. Thanks for listening.

postscript

Well now it is my time to apologize. I have looked over this stream of comments a couple times and swear I did not see the last comment from TommyD. It's been clarified for me now and I apologize for speaking out of turn.

Still, I stand by what I say - and I will reserve my other judgement of the comments on this board since they simply are so glib and vague there's no way to really take them seriously, much less respond to them appropriately. Many of them are oozing with the guilt of a society which still does not fully understand the complexity of these issues. When I criticize actions, and words, as harmful, that doesn't mean I'm attacking someone as a human being. I am criticizing harmful behavior.

On the other hand, I'm observing behavior towards human beings which attack them as human beings, and it's being ignored: why does someone feel the need to say that racism is so "last millenium"? Really? with SB1040, just as one example, with the Park51/islamophobia stuff going on? And that's not even half of the story in this country.

Ugh, I've said enough for now though.

and, really? censorship? I see enough negativity here to not believe that comments have been deleted simply for the sake of censoring opposing viewpoints. But whatever. I think it's clear I need some coffee before continuing. Thanks.

on generalizing

"It's not funny because it's for "white people", it's not funny because it's plain stupid" - well said!
All types of generalization lead to the same thing, just have that in mind...

Bravo.

This is, by far, the best piece about why Munn is such a problematic figure in pop culture. Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

I really appreciate this post

I've felt uncomfortable with Olivia Munn's Asian jokes because they seem to be pandering to racist stereotypes in exactly the same way she panders to misogynist stereotypes. It's valuable to hear some insight from an Asian woman, so thanks Thea, for speaking out.

I take Sady's point about how women sometimes have to take the options open to them, but I find it hard to believe that Olivia Munn lacked other options....and discouraging that once she managed to get some career success and have other options, she didn't change her pandering one bit.

And that comment about her mom's accent? Was really shitty.

Becky Sharper www.harpyness.com

Becky Sharper www.harpyness.com

Mocking Moms

Talking about a successful, Asian, female comedian making fun of her Mom's accent brings Margaret Cho to mind. Hell, that was 1/2 her stand up routine back in the day! Is anyone familiar enough w/ both Cho & Munn to compare/contrast? I recall Cho's bits about her Mom from years ago as being rather loving and very personal ie: not a stereotype but obviously *her Mom* and all of her *Mom-ness," eccentricities, smarts, "old world" POV & yes, thick accent.

However, I come from a background of white privilege, so I might have been missing a lot!

a good question

I was talking to my sibling about Olivia Munn's racist comedy compounded with the lack of Asian ladies in comedy and they mentioned Margaret Cho...I am (shocking!) actually not that familiar with Cho's oeuvre! I must definitely go back and check this out.

audience

I haven't watched Cho in years, but from what I remember of her standup, she was just telling her story. I know several of my mixed Korean/White friends loved her, because she gave voice to their lives. And though I *do* remember the specific bits where she would mock her mother's accent, I dunno if it was pandering to the white audience.

I think she was doing a lot just to get her foot in the door, at least around the time of 'All-American Girl'. So I feel like some stuff may have been compromise, but I still found her hilarious at the time. I wonder if I would now....

jen*

jen*

Cho

Being a Cho-fan over the years (not for everything she does, but overall), her stand-up and her blog are overwhelmingly positive about her mother and mention specifics to her personality over and over. (good, bad and neutral) Also, I've seen clips of her parents on the Notorious C.H.O. dvd, and on the Cho Show, and her mom honest to goodness sounds exactly liek that and does the same body language quirks everything Margaret shows her as doing. It's downright eerie. Most of her mom stuff relates to the bluntness of her mom, like when she's calling her answering machine and leaving a long message "if you don't pick up, it's because you're a lesbian" and the whole joke is her mom assumes that offhand and just wants her assumption validated. There are other asian-american comics who tend to simply do it for effect, often to white audiences, and I don't feel the same about their work. But Cho always has a ton of asian stereotype busting in her act, like her going off about being called "ching chong lady" by little girls, or the limited roles offered in american movies to asians, or how everyone assumes she wasn't born in this country and speaks english as a second language.

scott called

scott called... is he the gay?!? haha

agreed and good point. i'm

agreed and good point. i'm korean-american myself and although some people have blamed margaret cho for using her asian parents as the butt of racist jokes, i have to disagree. yes, she imitates her mom using an accent (as many people do, regardless of race) but the jokes about her mom are about her inherent "mommish" behaviors -- ex: disapproving of margaret's tattoos, confused about her open sexuality, etc.). for all who defend olivia munn's humor and progressive, her posting pictures of her manicured feet and herself in sexy cosplay outfits while promoting racist jabs is certainly far different from margaret cho (whose material is also her own and not by staff writers). also, last time i checked, margaret cho was an active voice for gay rights whereas olivia munn stripped naked for peta billboards. just saying.

I'm a white guy, my wife is

I'm a white guy, my wife is Thai. We watch AOTS all the time, and honestly, my wife laughs more at Munn's "racist" jokes than I do. She thinks it's hilarious when Munn makes fun of her mom's accent because it's true to her (Her mom once saw Marylin Manson on TV and couldn't pronounce his name so she just called him "Watermelon". Try not laughing at that.)

To be honest, to me TDS makes racist jokes in a way that makes fun of those who still think in a racist way. It's not the stereotype that Asian's only speak in Verb - Noun - Verb sentences that are funny, it's the dumbasses who think that way that are funny. Racism is so last millenium.

Totally this. It is making

Totally this. It is making fun of rascist people who actually think that way. "I always though you were a Mexican!" Hahahhaha. I feel sorry for those with no sense of humor. I am 1/4 Filipino, 1/4 Mexican, 1/2 Eastern European. I may not like Olivia Munn because I think she tries a bit too hard, and even I'm not totally sure what I mean by that. However, I watch TDS a lot, and always understand that THEY ARE MAKING FUN OF ALL OF US. Don't take yourselves too seriously, and for that, I applaud Olivia Munn.

Racism is also this millennium

Hi Chris,

I have to disagree with your last statement. Racism is, unfortunately, quite alive and well this millennium. Munn's jokes (which, as I understand them, pander to an audience willing to laugh at racist stereotypes) are just further evidence of that fact.

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WOW

Congratulations on not being able to take real criticism and deleting any negative posts. As a woman I am ashamed to read your pretentiously distorted rant on … dare I say it? opinions clearly engendered from jealousy of Olivia Munn. It takes maturity that you obviously do not possess to differentiate between a joke and a serious statement. Get a makeover and quit contributing to futility on the internet.

funny

Your comment made me laugh because it is so odd. What about this post indicates that I am jealous of Olivia Munn? I have no desire to be a comedian or do what she does. Elaborate if you like.

Your comment is utterly appropriate...

when considering the difference between a joke and a serious statement. Cheers.

Hi Olivia Munn.

Hi Olivia Munn.

Futility?

No way. Keep at it, Thea!

Writing

If the problem is writing, its probably not her fault. They need to have someone who can write funny satirical jokes for her, like the Ladies' Monthly has.

Great post. Also: "I have a

Great post. Also:

"I have a shriveled, angry little anti-racist feminist heart"

LOL!

When the Daily Show began ...

It was hosted by the probably-still-sexist Craig Kilbourne, who reportedly often got into clashes with the show's co-creator, the awesome Lizz Winstead, over his sexist remarks he said at and about her. Legend has it that she left the show because of him.

After Kilbourne left and Jon Stewart took over in 1999, he really turned it around to a show I have been a loyal viewer of for the last ten-plus years. The ever-awesome Samantha Bee (I highly recommend you pick up that book of hers and read it) and Kristen Schaal (Who also has an interesting new book) have especially kept me watching.

So why, oh why, must they had to cave into, what I presume are corporate pressures (Viacom owns and runs Comedy Central) and hire a woman who doesn't give a sh*t about feminism, let alone her own heritage?!! I recall her even saying somewhere that we are in post-feminist and post-racial times. No Olivia, the truth is that WE ARE NOT.

The things she says and does are deeply insulting. It even bothers me that Carson Daly is a big fan of hers (I am among the few who also watches "Last Call" for the occasionally awesome indie acts appearing on there that cannot even get videoplay on Fuse) I wish there was some way we can confront her and tell her that her racist remarks and bad jokes are wrong, wrong, wrong!

In compromise, I will continue watching "The Daily Show" as long as Samantha Bee and Kristin Schaal remain on it. But I will have to hit the mute button and look away whenever Olivia Munn appears on it.

Thanks, Thea!

Great

Excellent post, Thea. I think that you are very fair in calling Ms. Munn out for the things that she has created and put out into a world shaped by sexism and racism, while also being sympathetic to how sexism and racism have impacted her.

Also- major kudos to Bitch moderators. Both on swooping in to support Thea when appropriate and also keeping on top of the onslaught of troll-y comments that I'm sure you have gotten on here.

I too am a mixed-race person

I too am a mixed-race person except that I have a black mother and a white father. While I agree that Olivia Munn is an embarassment to all girl nerds everywhere, seeing that clip made me angrier at John Stewart for allowing this trash to be aired (and then claiming to be a social progressive) than Olivia Munn for going along with it. Maybe Rick Sanchez was on the money by calling out John Stewart's bigotry. I mean, c'mon! Making fun of The Killing Fields, a dark period in human history? From someone whose people was the main target of the Holocaust?

Deleted Comments

Hey everyone, there's been some disrespectful commenting in the past twelve or so hours that we've had to moderate, so let's keep the comments respectful and keep thinking before using hurtful language. 

And too all respectful commenters (which is, like, 99.9% of you) keep it up!

Like claiming all white

Like claiming all white people are racist? Just like this bitter jealous hate filled little girl did?

Feminazi hypocrit.....omg

Feminazi hypocrit.....omg Olivia munn makes me think less of all southeast Asians.....zomg......get over yourself....your views are disconnected and unreal.....go find a woman to empower.....

You racist hypocrite

Wahhh I am going to whine and bitch about racism while claiming that all white people are racist. You are a stupid hypocrite and you are jealous of a bitch like Olivia Munn. You have so much hate inside of you I feel sorry for you.

You racist hypocrite

Wahhh I am going to whine and bitch about racism while claiming that all white people are racist. You are a stupid hypocrite and you are jealous of a bitch like Olivia Munn. You have so much hate inside of you I feel sorry for you.

Seriously Thea Lim?

Really if anyone comes off as a racist it is you Thea Lim. The fact you get offended by an actor getting payed to act and say predetermined scripts says volumes about your personality. It's her job to do what she does and I'm sure racist jokes are going to be part of it considering this is comedy were talking about. You seem to have this odd opinion of all white people are racists, and that racist jokes are meant for the white audience. This couldn't be farther from the truth, as there are countless comedians from many ethnicity who use racist jokes that include their own race as well as others and they seem to do very well with their professions. You know what all these comedians say about getting offended by these jokes? Don't, they are just jokes.

To answer your question of How many other mixed race Southeast Asian ladies do you see on TV? Not many and the reason is they come off as people like you and Olivia mun.

You know...

You know she has a very real fear of balloons, yes?