Jay Leno Lastly Apologizes For Years Of Racist Jokes Towards Asians

Former late evening host Jay Leno issued an apology for racist jokes he made all through his profession that had been aimed toward Asian communities.

The comic’s racially fueled wisecracks, together with suggesting Korean folks consumed canine and cat meat, perpetuated dangerous stereotypes. The jokes had been criticized for over a decade by the activist group Media Motion Community for Asian Individuals (MANAA), Selection reported.

“At the time I did those jokes, I genuinely thought them to be harmless,” Leno stated in a be a part of press launch with MANAA chief Man Aoki, in line with Selection. “I was making fun of our enemy North Korea, and like most jokes, there was a ring of truth to them.”

The announcement of the apology comes amid a cultural reckoning spurred by the mass shootings at Atlanta-area spas final week that killed eight folks, six of them Asian girls. Previously yr, hate crimes towards Asian Individuals rose 150% within the nation’s largest cities, in line with a California State College evaluation of police data that was launched earlier this month.

Jay Leno on "The Tonight Show" in 2004.

Jay Leno on “The Tonight Show” in 2004.

Leno made an offensive joke about Asians as lately as 2019, when he served as a visitor choose on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.” Though the road was reduce from the present’s broadcast, it was included in a report by Selection about actor Gabrielle Union’s considerations with the poisonous office setting at “AGT” whereas she served as a choose on Season 14 of the present.

In keeping with Union, Leno made an offensive quip whereas a portrait of “AGT” choose and co-creator Simon Cowell along with his canines, noting that the canines appeared like meals gadgets at a Korean restaurant. The Hollywood Reporter additionally confirmed that the incident occurred.

Leno stated that his apology was real.

“I am issuing this apology,” he stated. “I do not consider this particular case to be another example of cancel culture but a legitimate wrong that was done on my part. MANAA has been very gracious in accepting my apology. I hope that the Asian American community will be able to accept it as well, and I hope I can live up to their expectations in the future.”

Leno has additionally been criticized for tasteless cracks he made previously about Britney Spears and Monica Lewinsky.