A White professor became an internet celebrity after his interview on BBC about relations between North and South Korea was interrupted by the appearance of his two young children. In the video gone viral, an Asian woman dashes in to drag the children away and close the door.
The man is Robert E. Kelley, an associate professor of international relations at Pusan National University. The Asian woman is his Korean wife, Jung a-Kim.
As the video spiraled further down the road of internet fame, people began to criticize the “nanny’s” supposedly frantic and scared demeanor. A Time.com article – which was later updated – referred to her as the “frenzied nanny.” A British tabloid described her as the “horrified nanny,” according to the Los Angeles Times. Twitter and Facebook users wrote that the Asian woman in the video had to be hired help, because she appeared “terrified” and even “emotionally abused.”
She’s not the nanny. So why did so many people assume she was?
Angry Asian Man blogger Phil Yu said that “people fell back on stereotypes.”
“There are stereotypes of Asian women as servile, as passive, as fulfilling some kind of service role,” he said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “People were quick to make that assumption.”
Asian food blogger Mimi Aye wrote in response to the widespread assumption people made that interracial couples still face stigmatization.
But the speculative/automatic uses of “nanny” and “maid” reminds me that interracial couples are not seen as normal and I am not one of you.
— MiMi Aye (@meemalee) 10 March 2017
In protest, some people are using the hashtag #notthenanny, which originated years ago from a black mother in a mixed-race family, to refer to the BBC video.
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