A video from the city of Los Angeles featuring white actors made up to look like Geishas speaking in heavily accented English has been taken down, reports the LA Weekly.
The You Tube video paid with tax dollars was uncovered by CBS Los Angeles and produced by the city’s Department of Public Works to publicize the city’s water conservation efforts in a Japanese garden.
“They wouldn’t have the same actor put on make up to look black.” said Guy Aoki of the Media Action Network. “People become so used to this stuff when it comes to portrayals of Asians they probably rationalized it as okay.”
“I am extremely sorry, ” said Public Works public affairs director Cora Jackson-Fossett. “We tried to present information about our services at the Japanese gardens in a humorous way we thought. We sorely missed the mark. We’re making every effort never to repeat it again.”
You can see the original CBS Los Angeles report and read more behind this controversy in the LA Weekly.