TV host Jay Leno apologises for years of racist jokes about Asians
American TV host Jay Leno has apologised for making wrong jokes about Asians and the Asian community for years.
The 70-year-old, during an interview with the Media Action Network for Asian Americans' (MANAA) leader Guy Aoki, admitted to making racist jokes, which at the point, Leno felt were "just jokes".
"At the time I did those jokes, I genuinely thought them to be harmless," he said. "At the time, there was a prevailing attitude that some group is always complaining about something, so don't worry about it. Whenever we received a complaint, there would be two sides to the discussion: Either 'We need to deal with this' or 'Screw 'em if they can't take a joke.' Too many times I sided with the latter even when in my heart I knew it was wrong," Leno added.
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The former The Tonight Show with Jay Leno host also shared that his apology has been accepted by MANAA and hopes that the Asian American community will accept it as well.
"I am issuing this apology. I do not consider this particular case to be another example of cancel culture but a legitimate wrong that was done on my part," the comedian added.
"MANAA has been very gracious in accepting my apology. I hope that the Asian American community will be able to accept it as well, and I hope I can live up to their expectations in the future."
Leno's apology came years after Aoki slammed him for his offensive jokes about Koreans.
"Many Americans are unable to distinguish between persons of Korean heritage living in North Korea, South Korea or the US, or between Asians and Asian Americans generally," Aoki first had said in 2012.