The Arizona Republican Party has been criticized for using a photo from a 1990s TV show, apparently to demonstrate support from Asian Americans.
As first reported by Vice News, the party’s website — which stated that it will never “demand special rights for certain races, push policies that favor members of one group over another, or single out certain ethnic or social groups with the promise of special favors or political privileges” — included a cast photo from comedian Margaret Cho’s 1994-95 sitcom “All-American Girl” with a caption simply reading, “Asian Americans.”
Other stock photos depicted African Americans, Hispanic Americans, rural Arizona, seniors, and union members.
The photo of the fictional Margaret Kim family may have been chosen because it has an American flag as a backdrop, but the responsible party was evidently unaware that Cho has been an outspoken critic of President Trump and other Republicans, calling them racist and homophobic.
“They got some bad information and ran with it,” Cho told Entertainment Weekly. “They deserve a dodgeball to the face.”
In a Facebook post, referring to the show’s cancellation after only 19 episodes, Cho said,
“Hahahahhhhaa! Well maybe NOW people will start watching!”
Other cast members weighed in via Facebook:
Amy Hill, who played Cho’s grandmother, Yung-hee, called the incident an example of “fake news.”
Clyde Kusatsu, who played Cho’s father, Benny, responded, “I truly don’t know what to say! Except, hey everybody now knows the show’s in a DVD collection — just go to Amazon and check it out!”
Jodi Long, who played Cho’s mother, Katherine, commented, “The whole post is ridiculous but it’s also so telling in how we as Asian Americans are ABSOLUTELY not in ‘their’ consciousness, for if we were, they would never have posted this pic. #CluelessGOP should be their moniker from now on.”
BD Wong, who played Cho’s brother Stuart, tweeted, “OMG and they had no idea that at least two people in that photo were depraved sexual deviants.” (Wong is gay and Cho is bisexual.)
The show, which also starred J.B. Quon as Cho’s brother Eric, was recently referenced in an episode of “Fresh Off the Boat,” which takes place during the mid-1990s.
“Angry Asian Man” blogger Phil Yu summed up the problem by saying, “It says it a lot when your only reference point for Asian Americans is a TV show from over 20 years ago. Actually, it says that you have no reference point for Asian Americans when you have no idea that you’ve posted a photo of a TV show from over 20 years ago.”
“As soon as this was brought to our attention, the page was taken down,” said Torunn Sinclair, communications director for the Arizona Republican Party. “This was obviously a mistake, and we apologize.”