Rosie O’Donnell apologizes for being ignorant

Superficial / December 14, 2006

Rosie O’Donnell apologized on The View today for the incident last week where she mocked the Chinese language in an effort to be funny. After running the clip she said:

“This apparently was very offensive to a lot of Asian people. So I asked Judy, who’s Asian and works here in our hair and makeup department. I said, ‘Was it offensive to you?’ And she said, ‘Well, kinda. When I was a kid people did tease me by saying ching-chong.’ So apparently ‘ching-chong,’ unbeknownst to me, is a very offensive way to make fun, quote-unquote, or mock, Asian accents. Some people have told me it’s as bad as the n-word. I was like, really? I didn’t know that.”

O’Donnell said that her joke was “never intended to hurt anyone, and I’m sorry for those people who felt hurt or were teased on the playground,” but added that in the future, “there’s a good chance that I’ll do something like that again … Not on purpose.”

Yeah, who would’ve guessed ‘ching chong ching’ would be offensive to Asians? Summing up the most widely spoken language in the world into two single-syllable noises? I mean c’mon, that’s tough work. Like calling every Italian person I meet Luigi and asking if they “got’sa pizza” for me.