Nearly 2 Months Later, CNN reports on “Make Me Asian” App

Screen caps of the “Make Me Asian” app, courtesy of Angry Asian Man.

Nearly two months after the Asian American blogosphere (including this blog) broke the news of the incredibly racist “Make Me Asian” Google Android app, CNN has now picked up the story (which explains the sudden increase in traffic I’m getting on that post). From the article:

The apps use dated and racist stereotypes of Asians and Native Americans, said the online campaign 18 Million Rising, named after the number of Asian-Americans in the United States.

“These racist and offensive portrayals of Asians and Native Americans perpetuate damaging racial stereotypes and should not be distributed on the Google play store,” said the campaign, which has an online petition to remove the apps.

Google, however, said the apps are not in violation of the company’s policies that protect against hate speech.

“We don’t comment on individual apps,” Google said in a statement. “We remove apps from Google Play that violate our policies.”

KimberyDeiss makes other photo-altering apps including “Make Me Old” and “Make Me Fat.” There’s also “Make Me Russian” and “Make Me Irish,” which play off stereotypes.

But the furor in the Asian-American community, sparked a few weeks ago, is growing. Blogs, including Angry Asian Man, have reinforced the call to remove the apps.

Washington pastor Peter Chin decided to mount an even larger protest on the website Change.org.

Chin said he understood Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil.” That makes it hard to fathom why the company would support these apps, he said.

This is the first time Chin has protested in this way. He was prompted to act, he said, because Google refused to do so.

“Google normalizes everything from Google maps, Gmail,” he said. “If you want to search for something on the Internet, you even say to ‘Google it.'”

Chin feared Google’s power would make people think the apps were OK.

“I wanted to make sure this app isn’t given a pass of approval,” he said.

Chin said he wants Google users to know that the stereotypes in the apps have been used to marginalize and discriminate against people.

“It’s not cool,” he said.

The app maker, KimberyDeiss, is also the creator of the equally racist “Make Me Indian” app which plays on racist stereotypes of Native Americans.

Screen-capture of the “Make Me Indian” app.

Google has responded that these apps do not violate their terms of service and therefore cannot be pulled. But you can sign the Change.org petition anyways. Because people who don’t like racism don’t get down with this shit.