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Japan comedy duo apologize after reportedly saying Naomi Osaka 'needs bleach'

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Why stop there? Why not bleach half the rugby team?

27 ( +31 / -4 )

I love comedy :) really like a good laugh.

But this "joke" isn't fun. It's racism directed at 1 person.

Yes, they should definitely be fired !

21 ( +35 / -14 )

@extanker: Part of me agrees with you but on the other hand this was over the top. This was not even funny.

The fact that the comedians and the company could not even name Ms. Osaka in their "apology" is cowardice, pure and simple.

What a disgusting pair of women and an even more disgusting company or organization who employs them.

21 ( +31 / -10 )

What a phony, hollow non apology,if you can't refer to person by name.Clearly the duo aren't funny if their material needs to include Naomi's skin color. And they ain't much to look at themselves anyway.

19 ( +20 / -1 )

Yeah well maybe you need to be tarred and feathered! Well maybe just the "tar".

Apologies are not enough here, getting fired sounds more appropriate!

15 ( +32 / -17 )

As long as it’s funny, I’m fine with it.

News Flash! White guy fine with jokes about bleaching black people to make them look white.

Guess its OK then.

15 ( +19 / -4 )

japanese are masters at non apologies. It's a marvel to behold. Did they bow as well?

14 ( +18 / -4 )

@extankerMan I miss the 80's and 90's where everyone made fun of everyone and nobody lost their minds.

I'm going to assume you're writing this as a member of a majority group. Please provide a description of yourself and your family. I'll make some comments about them and people similar to them if you do.

13 ( +19 / -6 )

Unbelievable that people are defending this.

It's not even funny, in English or Japanese. They literally just said something shocking just to shock, there's not humor in it. It's not a parody, it's not irony, it's not sarcastic, it's literally just a horrible statement that they meant to be horrible. They're just not good comedians and surprise, they're racist.

Another reminder that mixed race people in Japan will never actually be Japanese in the eyes of many.

Cool Japan, amirite?

12 ( +18 / -6 )

@nakanoguy01

Comedians are supposed to shock. But there is a huge difference between comedy and bullying.

Black comedians have said bad things. But in a land where The Miss Universe contestant that was half black as well as the half Indian contestant were constantly told they are not Japanese. They are too dark to be Japanese. Japanese have white skin. This doesn’t come off as comedy. When there have been many half Japanese who are told, “you can’t be Japanese you are too dark.” This comedy plays into that. If there was more acceptance for them in this culture, then it would be much different. When dark consistently has a negative connotation then maybe you might understand why such a statement can be extremely damaging.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

remarks inconsiderate of diversity in an era where diversity is respected

This quote says it all. They meant every word of it and didn’t feel anything was wrong. It’s like saying, “Ooh apparently some people accept diversity, looks like we should be careful who we say certain things to.”

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@memoryfix:

Your comment is not well thought through if at all. Parasols don't make people look white. They help to prevent sun damage to skin, which can lead to skin cancer. Most makeup contains sun block.

Avoiding skin damage is ridiculous, now?

10 ( +13 / -3 )

It would be a (not funny) joke if Ms Osaka was tanned or sunburned.

But being her natural skin color, this is racist. There is no arguing about it.

I'm pretty sure some white people would be outraged if it was the other way around. Like a black person saying about a white person that he/she needs coloring, or something like that.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

Norman Goodman, “I guarantee context has been lost, which is why the comedians stated the jokes were not aimed specifically at Naomi.”

Whats been quoted in the Japanese media is:「大坂なおみに必要なものは?」「漂白剤」

Q: What does Naomi Osaka need?

A: Bleach.

Not having seen seen the performance I don’t know anything beyond this but it seems pretty specific to Naomi Osaka to me.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

One other thing, there is no way in hell these two used the word "bleach" in English either, 漂白剤、hyouhakuzai, is the Japanese word for bleach, and there is ZERO mistaking their meaning when they used the word in their routine.

Their management company as well, by not apologizing directly to Osaka, is not helping matters, as it is skipping out on taking responsibility for their employees actions.

This is a slap in the face to all multi-racial people and people of color!

She has been widely hailed in Japan, which has traditionally seen itself as a racially homogeneous country, although successful mixed-race athletes such as Osaka herself, sprinter Asuka Cambridge and baseball pitcher Yu Darvish are challenging that image.

And you "missed" on Rui Hachimura, and Abdul Hakim Sani Brown, the latter running TODAY in the 100 meter sprints at the world track and field championships in Doha!

9 ( +16 / -7 )

@memoryfix:

What is your point? That racist comments are ok?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

And here we go again.

they really don't get it,don't they?

The black face jokes,the commercial with the white person with a huge nose now the bleach one.

The years pass,the fake apologizes keep coming but nothing changes in reality.

Unfortunately these people don't really know how to live in a global world made by diversities.

In any other civilized countries these comedians would have been fired in a blink eye.

Just in Italy a while ago a sport TV commentator made a remark about how women are not fitted to referee in a professional football game and next day the TV broadcast fired him and he apologized as well.

I guess such kind of things will never happen over there in Japan.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

People talking about the "good old days" seems to not understand that for those who were bullied or discriminated, these were not "good days".

Get some perspective.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Miss those days when you could make jokes about anything...

Man I miss the 80's and 90's

wayyyyyyyyyyyyy toooooooooooooooo much buttttttthurt.....

Who cares?

Lets just say nothing...someone will always be offended

I miss the 80's and 90's

The above comments are consistent with those made by people who want to 'make wherever whatever again', i.e. those who follow movements like that of the global alt right that glorify some mythical past. The followers seem to have been convinced that their nation needs to return to that past, a time when they could mock the 'others' (usually from a different demographic) who would just take their abuse.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Since1981: In the good old days we could take a joke or criticism and move on with life. Never heard in my days "he hurt my feels. I need a support animal to coop with the anxiety of someone calling me a name."

Oh sure, the days when being racist or malicious can be excused by "It's just a joke, get over it", right? Those truly wonderful days when people make light of psychological damage as if it's any less painful than physical ones? The terrific days when being a bully or barbarian is seen as strength, aye?

Good thing it's just "the good old days". Or rather, good riddance.

Also, if a person's brand of comedy and fun require it to be at other people's expense, then they'd better be ready to accept the consequences wherein other people does not find it funny or acceptable.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

For those who wonder what happened to the “good old days” when we could joke about anything and laugh it off — well, those days are thankfully over. We’ve realized that such jokes steadily reinforced stereotypes and bigotry in our lives, leaving audiences to say, “oh well, that’s just the way it is.” We need to redefine what we find as funny.  More and more we are calling out people who are desperate for a laugh. Society has called out Eddie Murphy for senselessly joking about homosexuals early in his career, Donald Trump for mocking the disabled, and Larry Wilmore, who thought it would be cute to present his stream of racial jokes at the Obama Correspondents’ Dinner - which explains why he no longer appears on Comedy Central (or anywhere for that matter). Society has had enough of bad jokes — bigotry shrouded as entertainment. The message is clear: “If you can’t make intelligent jokes, then get off the stage.”

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Man I miss the 80's and 90's where everyone made fun of everyone and nobody lost their minds.

@ex-tanker - while some no doubt miss the 1920s when you could get away with even more towards people whose skin is darker..

7 ( +13 / -6 )

savethegaijinToday 09:07 am JST

Unbelievable that people are defending this.

No, unfortunately it's easy to believe that people are defending it.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

TrevorPeace

Who cares?

Logic dictates that it includes the people who take the time to comment on the article.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

rainyday

> How about Japanese women trying to make themselves look white - parasols, makeup? You okay with that? I’ve always thought it’s ridiculous.

Why would I, or anybody, care either way? If someone wants to look that way, then fine. Its rude and obnoxious to call that "ridiculous" just as it is rude and obnoxious for these comedians to say Naomi Osaka should bleach her skin.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Surely they got it wrong.

Why do the want her to make her white by using 漂白剤 ?

If they wanted her to look more Japanese, then she would need to apply 黄変剤 (ouhenzai = yellowing agent).

Oh come on Japanese people... don't get angry... I'm making a joke here.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

So they can name her while making fun of her but won’t mention her name when apologizing?

They shouldn’t have bothered to issue an appology.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

stormcrowToday 12:24 pm JST

Xenophobia. The sad thing is that a lot of Japanese probably found what they said terribly funny.

I'm Japanese and no I say It's not funny for most Japanese. It just doesn't make sense as a joke.

And this comedy duo is almost unknown. This is news because the joke was racict, not funny.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

What century are they living in?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Par for the course. They, like the vast majority of the population have ABSOLUTELY no idea what diversity really means. They probably had never heard the term until somebody wrote up that "apology" for them. People here just want to celebrate and bask in her success but still don't feel she is Japanese and they never will. Well, one positive thing is this would have never even been news much less worthy of an apology a few years back. Change happens at a glacial pace in many cases here.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

both women apologized for making "inappropriate, hurtful remarks" but did not refer to Osaka,

Sorry everyone, not to add fuel to the fire but looking at the picture, I thought they were dudes until I reread this. It's Pat!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Not very funny, for a pair of purported comedians. There again, Japanese humor tends to be extremely peurile anyway - or simply rude and crude.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

In the good old days we could take a joke or criticism and move on with life. Never heard in my days "he hurt my feels. I need a support animal to coop with the anxiety of someone calling me a name."

tough guy huh. you probably say "man up" 30 times a day...

there,s jokes, criticism and calling someone a name, and then there,s racism, xenophobia and bullying.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

There have been numerous comments over the last year or so on here about Naomi Osaka and the state of her 'suntan'. So it's not limited to these two jackasses unfortunately.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Japan continues to struggle with clear, non-ambiguous apologies. If these “comedians” can joke about a person by name, then the apology should be just as specific. But not only did they fail to specifically apologize to Osaka herself, but their reasons for apologizing reveals they are only sorry for “causing trouble” and not realizing that diversity is a ‘thing,’ like the latest fad.  

And to make this joke more insulting, they tell it while Osaka is elevating Japan’s name in tennis to the highest level it has ever been. This is no way to show appreciation for all Osaka is doing for Japan. It seems regardless of her accomplishments, many simply cannot see past her skin. That is the epitome of immaturity and bigotry.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

For those who wonder what happened to the “good old days” when we could joke about anything and laugh it off — well, those days are thankfully over. We’ve realized that such jokes steadily reinforced stereotypes and bigotry in our lives

. . .

Society has had enough of bad jokes — bigotry shrouded as entertainment. The message is clear: “If you can’t make intelligent jokes, then get off the stage.”

Too right.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Cretins!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

@BeerDeliveryGuy

You don't see the litany of problems with every part of that joke?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@nakanoguy01

With Yang, that’s a positive stereotype. Hearing Asians are doctors is a positive stereotype. Hearing, dark is bad. Dark isn’t beautiful so beauty products usually market whitening substances and that white skin is beautiful. Only to hear, you are too dark and you need bleach. It is a completely different thing. Also, Osaka isn’t even that dark. She is an average hue for those that are from the Middle East, Italian, and other places. She is the same color as many people living in Okinawa.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

memoryfixToday  08:24 am JST

rainyday

How about Japanese women trying to make themselves look white - parasols, makeup? You okay with that? I’ve always thought it’s ridiculous.

If you studied Japanse history at all they've been doing that centuries before they ever saw white people. Same can be said for much of Asia, both Eastern and Southeastern.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@tooheysnew

your follicky challenged features has never been subjected to institutionalized, sustained and endemic exclusion, like 'race' has (and I'm avoiding mentioning genocide for context sake). PC is PC, but racism in all its guises are just abhorrent, it's just unfortunate that so many people are so blissfully devoid of awareness and empathy it fools parts of society into thinking it's some kind of 'humour'.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

who played Archie Bunker, were still alive today, the PC brigrade would tear him down as a racist.

Archie Bunker was a racist character. Cultural ethoses change over time, as does what's considered to be humorous.

This is because half of them don't understand humor or how it works, and the other half a bunch of trouble making trolls in it for the LOLs.

More binary-ization (sic). Each individual perceives humor from their (modern use of the word) own perspective.

If comedians offend others, especially if they do so intending to offend others because of their 'otherness', they should be willing to accept the full consequences of doing so.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

I neant to also mention that the term used in the “joke” as quoted in the media is 漂白剤 hyohakuzai, bleach. This is a term used for laundry and kitchen products. The term usually used for the cosmetic products used to lighten skin is “whitening” in katakana.

BTW a lot of tv gets watched in this household and (aside from whether I like them or not) I’m familiar with a lot, maybe most, of the popular comedians. I don’t think I’ve ever seen, much less heard of, this duo before. I think they are relatively minor.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

So many commenting about "the good old days"...

What, you mean the days when people are free from any responsibility after discriminating against others? The days when you can drive someone over the edge, hurting them with your toxic, malicious words and yet somehow others would just laugh it off and ridicule the victim? Those days?

Gosh, you'd think people would get wiser as they grow older, not get stuck in some irresponsible teenage way of thought.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Not an apology, they didn't even refer to Ms Osaka directly. The so called comedians and their management are racists.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Where is japanese culture of honour & respect ?

Especially when Osaka has won medals for Japan.

Despicable

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Well, they made sincere apologies. That’s alright then. They are free. It’s a bit of a shame that their statement was racially abusive hate speech though. I thought that was illegal in Japan. (rolls eyes)

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sun damage to skin is relatively recent ( decades) news. Japanese women have been trying to look white for most of the past 100 years.

memoryfix, you are confused. They have been trying to protect their skin from becoming sunburnt, which was associated with peasants, common laborers and farmers. They used parasols for the same reason in Europe as well. Now the they use sunscreen.

When European sailors first showed up in East Asia, they were seen as "white monkeys," i.e. not attractive at all. Their behavior often confirmed that description. Seems it still does sometimes.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

@hiragino4410

"I'm Japanese and no I say It's not funny for most Japanese."

I hope you're right. As you know xenophobia is not just a problem in Japan, but in many countries and I would hope that humor of this sort is not considered funny and that it is viewed as offensive by most people.

Unfortunately, from my own experience, I've come across both types of people (good & bad) in most countries I've spent considerable time in or visited.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Ms Osaka is 22-she obviously has an American passport so technically she is not able to use her Japanese passport to enter Japan as she would be acting against Japanese law.

She uses her American passport to leave and enter America. Japanese passport to enter and leave Japan.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Another Japanese pair of entertainers in urgent need of a massive brain cell transplant. Problem is there are not many possible donors in the industry.

And Naomi, she has no problem about it, she is much more than just a Japanese, a beautiful girl, with personality, she is really much loved, she's a champion. It's society that has the problem.

In the good old days we could take a joke or criticism and move on with life. Never heard in my days "he hurt my feels.

It's still good old days in Japan. There are still public school teachers that make their pupils color their hair national color.

I feel for the kid that gets his/her hair black or the bleach joke, suffers in silence. Only response from adult world : "ha ha ha... so funny... ". He will soon kill him/herself or will harden in the bad way, will lose capacity of empathy and will do something similar to the next person.

unless more context is given. 

I hope I gave you enough context. What "hurts" is there is no progress, decades after decades.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

A lot of Japanese only seem to recognize racism when they are the target of it. As with when Hamada wore black-face during the New Year's special, this Morning I heard a person ask, "What's wrong with the comment they made? It was funny!" when someone else brought up Osaka's win and the comment came out.

These two clowns and their agency had ZERO trouble bringing up Osaka's name in the racist comment, but as with a lot of disingenuous apologies for past actions and remarks, it's a general, "A bad thing was said, and it is regrettable. We are sorry for causing trouble (to the company)." The cowards can't mention her name in the apology, which is beyond shameful. These bigots should be fired from the company, and shunned by people seeking a little humor from "comedy" duos.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

This is just disgusting

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I do see more problems in society because of peoples thin skin and let us not make any secrets about this, the people that feel most upset by this are of course, liberals.

The leader of the lunatic fringe has a very thin skin.

It’s not just liberals.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Back on topic please.

SnickersToday 06:58 am JSTI love comedy :) really like a good laugh.

But this "joke" isn't fun. It's racism directed at 1 person.

Yes, they should definitely be fired !

You can't bleach skin or should even want to. And so what if Naomi Osaka has Caribbean ancestry in her? She IS Japanese, isn't she? What else matters?

Norman GoodmanToday 11:59 am JSTArchie Bunker was a racist character.

Yes. Played by a non-racist White man. My point was that the PC brigade would tear down the ACTOR, rather than the character, but you parsed that out of my quote. But even attacking the character would be small minded as the character was meant to be laughed AT not with. For years I laughed at Archie Bunker along with the rest of the country. He made true racists look like the idiots they are. He had a HUGE hand in reversing negative racial stereotypes in America.

I've laughed at the Archie Bunker character just like many people do, but there's many in America who really are like him in real life. Carroll O'Connor was no racist, and in his post 'All In the Family' shows he emphasized hard to show that. He was an ACTOR and the Archie Bunker character was written to show that racism in ALL its forms is stupid.

I've seen Naomi Osaka on TV trounce Serena Williams last year. She's a rising star for sure and she's the pride of Japan. So what if she's not 100% Oriental Asian? Is anyone really 100% one race or color? I'm not.   

Jokes that poke fun at people for factors like that are juvenile, uncouth, moronic  and unfunny. She's a new national hero in the limelight.  Let her enjoy it.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Where is japanese culture of honour & respect ?

That's only reserved for "true" Japanese people. Of course, to determine who are "true" Japanese you have to draw the arbitrary line in history after mainland Asians migrated to these beautiful islands.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

No excuse for this level of racial insenstivity. If these comments were written entirely by this comedian team, they should be fired or suspended long enough to send a clear message. On the other hand, while racism in the US public forum towards African-Americans and Hispanic-Americans is a big no-no, the same towards Asian-Americans continues. So yea, it's not just Japan.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Xenophobia. The sad thing is that a lot of Japanese probably found what they said terribly funny.

I doubt a lot of Japanese even saw this duo or know who they are.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"I doubt a lot of Japanese even saw this or know who they are."

Maybe not, yet here we all are discussing it, aren't we?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yes it does happen all over the world. But it's always just so much more annoying when it happens in Japan. Probably because the acceptance of mixed race people in Japan is just so fake.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

There's plenty of room for humor and jokes without hate downs. Just needs real talent.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Shame on them for saying such things and a bigger shame on them for not apologizing directly! But the biggest shame should go to the few people commenting here who are supporting such remarks and even some who think it was funny to say such things! @nakanoguy...would you be ok if someone commented on your physical appearance ( nose, legs, skin color, baldness etc and made a joke! Most Japanese are very offended when the shoe is on the other foot but some still support these kinds of racist comments that the two brainless comedians made! And looking at their photo it’s just surprising that they live in glass houses yet try to throw stones at others!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

You mean it's no longer considered funny that some people have darker skin that others?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Man I miss the 80's and 90's where everyone made fun of everyone and nobody lost their minds.

Yeah, I miss the good ol' days when people laughed and spat at us, or called us terrorists or queers or whatever other ammunition they had in their vocabulary etc.

And then there were the bouts of violence that occasionally went with the kickings.

But it's ok, they were laughing and joking at the time.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

bass4funk: "What can you make a joke about? What is acceptable or unacceptable, what happens when one group gets offended and another doesn’t?"

I suppose you want a return to the "good old days", eh, bass? when you could put on blackface and people LOVED it, or say Osaka's too dark and needs bleach to be more white, when you could ENJOY the cakewalk instead of having to avoid using the term, etc. Who were those days, and those jokes, good for? You Don't voice any concern at all about what these comedians say.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

.

How puerile and archaic their paradigms .

This is the 21 century - we have moved beyond the Tokugawa Era -boys !

2 ( +7 / -5 )

When the bg decision comes for her to choose citizenship, she wil probaby choose Japan because of the money and sponsorship and not because of narrow-minded fools like these nobody comedians.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Not sure what the exact "joke" was here, but if it was a "bleach" comment, it's been "done" already, thus making their "joke" recycled and not too original.

Judging by the picture, they aren't a very well known duo. Just trying to create controversy to build their reputation I would imagine.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Look at their disgusting laughing faces.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

RizdownToday  11:07 am JST

Surely they got it wrong.

Why do the want her to make her white by using 漂白剤 ?

If they wanted her to look more Japanese, then she would need to apply 黄変剤 (ouhenzai = yellowing agent).

Oh come on Japanese people... don't get angry... I'm making a joke here.

Your comment is as bad as the one by these comedians. Did you not realize from the article that obviously most Japanese people objected to the racist comment leading to apologies? Or are you under the mistaken impression that there are Japanese people on this forum defending the comedians?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Lets call this for what it is messed you prepared your gag before you got on stage you knew what you were going to say and what subjects you were going to touch. Some idiot said he miss the good old days when you can make racist jokes and there was nothing wrong with it. Yeah right don't know where you are from buddy but every country I ever been too no one put up with this bull, bad enough we got a few world leaders that are racist don't give no one the right to think they are better, smarter, and deserve more respect than others. One stupid can spread negative thoughts and racist rants look at TRUMP the biggest racist we all have ever seen, lead by example kids are watching set the example we all want to move forward not backwards.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My 73 year old eyes are not so great, but I really didn't realize those 2 comedians were female.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

even joking about the environment will get you cursed out, banned or physically harmed. What can you make a joke about?

You, with your desperate, continuous straw men and support for bigotry.

Bwaaa ha ha haaaa

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Reason why South Park is my favorite show ever. They couldn't care less about people's sensitivity.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Xenophobia. The sad thing is that a lot of Japanese probably found what they said terribly funny.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

@extanker @since1981 you mean back in the day where people could get away with blatant racism? They are literally discriminating and saying she looks bad because she is black/dark skinned. That is NOT comedy and should never be welcomed as such.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Well, since comics often like to say they don't let anyone off the hook, perhaps if they had said, "Either Naomi may need bleach, or everybody else needs to be tanned," that might have put a different slant on matters. Just food for thought as it did sound like they were picking on her and she individually ended up being a target of that messiness!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm pretty sure some white people would be outraged if it was the other way around. Like a black person saying about a white person that he/she needs coloring, or something like that.

But ppl do. 'mate, you need to get some vitamin D, you're sooo white', all the 'pasty poms' jokes.

How about light-skinned blacks/asians/indians talking down on dark-skinned blacks/asians/indians, darker euros vs lighter euros and vice versa.

Very much agree with TOW, I don't like, nor get actually, this duo's joke but I am just not sure it constitutes 'racism' (would have to watch/understand the whole show i.e 'need some bleach' for what? to look 'better', more japanese, fit in j society ...?? It sure could be racism but is it really? just dunno).

For whatever reason ppl have always been obsessed with skin color ('you're too dark/light, need a tan, look sick/dirty etc').

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@memoryfix

you brought that up, and you,re absolutely right. you said 100 years, but it,s even more, Japanese women have been trying to look white for the past 1000 years. i wouldn,t say it is ridiculous though, because it,s part of Japanese culture (ex: geisha (white paint), ohaguro, etc.) - for Japanese (women), having a fair skin is (or was considered) a symbol of purity or beauty and was synonymous with wealth.

i think that fact might be connected with this episode, because something that,s part of Japanese culture for hundreds of years doesn,t get erased very easily. the whole thing is interesting and amusing at the same time (if we think that white people are the "gaijin/outsiders").

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I doubt a lot of Japanese even saw this duo or know who they are.

Good point. Following the notion that no publicity is bad publicity, maybe their intention was to attract media attention so one of the Uyoku dantai, maybe the LDP, would notice them and pay for an appearance at one of their group's functions.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

C'mon fellas - that kind of gag is in poor taste.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I’m not saying the joke is considered appropriate, just that the headline is misleading.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hate of comedians is no better than hate of anyone else.

I joke about anything. Fortunately, I am not in Japan because humor is so limited (irony is not even understood!).

If you watch comedians, they are going to make jokes, not factual truths nor political statements nor science conclusions.

Ask Naomi if she cares please.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bass4funk. you sound like those old white people who complain just like you whining about the good ol days when racism disguised as jokes were ok. Newsflash: it never was ok. Even back then... if you tried to make a racist joke in front of black people you'd be in a world of hurt. (and I knew you were white because you're the only group that would whine about people getting offended by racist jokes and being sensitive... the irony)

This is only part of what Biracial Black and Asian people go through, no matter what celebrity level they are.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Has it never occurred that these two are just village idiots , dimwit and dumbo, it is the agency that must be held accountable as the culprits? Think about that?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

This can be tolerated. They should be fired.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

shashankSep. 27 07:01 am JSTWhere is japanese culture of honour & respect ?

Especially when Osaka has won medals for Japan.

Despicable

Naomi has a Haitian father so her skin is darker, but don't some people in Okinawa or Iwo Jima have darker skin themselves due to Polynesian ancestry? She is a Japanese citizen, born in Japan, winning medals for Japan, making Japan proud.

Cut that 'skin color' jive. Leave her alone.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

One can only hope she chooses to represent America rather than Japan when the time comes for her to decide and if we're really lucky the 'diverse' rugby team will follow her example. Then something just below mediocrity will return to Japanese sport and small mindedness can continue to grow unchallenged in a society that once had respect and honour deeply rooted in its culture. In the good old days when someone of a 'lower' status (unknown comedians) insulted someone of a 'higher' status ( Work Number 1 tennis player) there would have to be a proportionate and accountable apology. AHH, the good old days. Don't you just miss them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm a big Osaka fan and am strongly against racism.

However, this story lacks the context needed to make everyone so confident that this was clearly racism. There is no comedian on earth whose act would sound civil if you cherry picked a sentence from the middle of it and printed it in text. Tone of voice, narrative context, and familiarity with the comedian's previous positions on these issues all contribute to a very different understanding of a bit, than seeing a sentence printed on a screen in isolation.

"Dave Chappelle commented that he would never employ a black female unless she were physically attractive."

"George Carlin stated before an audience that political conservatives ought to receive physical violence as punishment for their immoral ways."

"Louis CK, a white comedian, used the n-word 17 times in his act when referring to black people."

These summaries might technically be true but if you've seen these comedians' acts before, then you would certainly understand the 'reports' in a totally different light and would understand that the nuance of the performance made it clear that these were not horrible, racist, violent, ignorant comments. We know these comedians. We like these comedians. We understand they're purposely being outrageous to make a greater point, and not being hurtful.

I think this Japanese duo's comments ought to be given the same benefit of the doubt, unless more context is given. Japan does have a history of racial insensitivity, but that doesn't mean we should assume to know the intent behind every Japanese person's comments - especially in the context of a comedy act.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Publicity is and could be the route to promote gain assess to the marketplace, Japanese comedy duo and their management company have decided to take a short cut and then cynically apologised.

These two hapless fools are not remotely resist, they are just easily lead.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Man I miss the 80's and 90's where everyone made fun of everyone and nobody lost their minds.

Comedians are becoming a slow dinosaur breed because you can’t get rid on stage and make a joke about anything anymore, even joking about the environment will get you cursed out, banned or physically harmed. What can you make a joke about? What is acceptable or unacceptable, what happens when one group gets offended and another doesn’t? Who in the PC police get to designate what humor is? Humor is a thing of the past, ask Bill Maher.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

"The only thing that should be sacred (respected and avoided) is that nothing should be sacred...except this statement on sacredness."

author unknown
-4 ( +2 / -6 )

In so many words...enough said.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

There's plenty of room for humor and jokes without hate downs. Just needs real talent.

Yeah, but who determines hate? How would you know how these guys feel or even if it was meant to be a personal attack? Who gets to call what is or what is not racist, that’s just like saying who decides what is beauty? If it were purposely done to make her feel bad and there was proof that they meant for it to be racially insensitive then I would understand, but people need to calm down, I do see more problems in society because of peoples thin skin and let us not make any secrets about this, the people that feel most upset by this are of course, liberals.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

People need to quit being so thin skinned. It was a joke.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Yeah, I miss the good ol' days when people laughed and spat at us, or called us terrorists or queers or whatever other ammunition they had in their vocabulary etc.

Oh, please! People weren’t sensitive back then for every little word people internalize and feel entitled to be insulted. This is exactly why people are not as outgoing or more introverted because everything a person says not can be misconstrued as racist. Smh. If you’re insulting someone to purposely make them feel bad, I get it, but even in a joking sense? Come on...

And then there were the bouts of violence that occasionally went with the kickings.

But it's ok, they were laughing and joking at the time.

Again, boot therapy is definitely bad, wrong and done with a racist malice, but the same can’t be said when a person yells racist so loosely, it’s almost lost its luster.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Maria

Racist comments are not okay. And I do not make racist comments. But to say that a person of color can present themselves as a Caucasian, and the opposite is not true is inequality. In fact, it could be considered discrimination in reverse.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The joke was definitely insensitive, but not as offensive as the headline would suggest.

It was joke was intended to be one of the comedians playing the fool who doesn’t know that Osaka is black, and assumes she is over-tanned.

”Osaka looks like she got sunburned, this summer sure was brutal. Maybe she should try some skin-whitening treatment.”

comedian2 slaps him on the head

”idiot! Osaka is black.”

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Heckleberry

I depends if there’s racist intent or not. And if a black person is making up as a white person, it won’t draw criticism.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Miss those days when you could make jokes about anything...

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

everybody is just too darn PC nowadays. comedians are supposed to shock and mock. to be honese, what they said didn't even phase me. black comedians have said much worse about black people. heck, even yang said during the democratic debates that because he's asian he knows a lot of doctors. i roared with laughter about that.

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

Archie Bunker was a racist character.

Yes. Played by a non-racist White man. My point was that the PC brigade would tear down the ACTOR, rather than the character, but you parsed that out of my quote. But even attacking the character would be small minded as the character was meant to be laughed AT not with. For years I laughed at Archie Bunker along with the rest of the country. He made true racists look like the idiots they are. He had a HUGE hand in reversing negative racial stereotypes in America.

That said, I don't see racism here, as in race hate. Japanese women are obsessed with white skin. This is cultural, not racist.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Yeah, it was a stupid comment, but this endless PC hysteria and demands for apologies is even more stupid. Enough already! Do you want to live in a world where even frigging comedians have to run every single world through a PC filter?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I guess being bullied most of my life gave me a higher level of tolerance. And tolerated verbal abuse for so many years working and marriage in Japan. I’m still alive and leading a happy and healthy life. Words never killed me. Just made me stronger.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

@extanker: Gotta agree with you on this too. It is what comedians do. They poke fun at people and everyday life situations. Watch the old Dean Martin Roasts on youtube. I guess we were able to handle the remarks and move on with life in the past. Feelings are hurt too easily these days.

-8 ( +19 / -27 )

Man I miss the 80's and 90's where everyone made fun of everyone and nobody lost their minds.

I so agree with that statement from extanker.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

@seanwd20

Ms Osaka is 22-she obviously has an American passport so technically she is not able to use her Japanese passport to enter Japan as she would be acting against Japanese law.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

rainyday

How about Japanese women trying to make themselves look white - parasols, makeup? You okay with that? I’ve always thought it’s ridiculous.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

Let's stop the cartoons of certain religious figures...They offend. Let's stop boys v girls jokes...They offend. Let's stop satirizing political leaders...They offend. Lets just say nothing...someone will always be offended

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

These comedians better not make jokes about peoples appearance.

Go Naomi-chan! Rise above the jealous haters like A Masso, and get thst next Major!

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Is Osaka going to give up her Japanese citizenship next month or not?

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Who cares?

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

Rob990: So many commenting about "the good old days"...

What, you mean the days when people are free from any responsibility after discriminating against others? The days when you can drive someone over the edge, hurting them with your toxic, malicious words and yet somehow others would just laugh it off and ridicule the victim? Those days?

Gosh, you'd think people would get wiser as they grow older, not get stuck in some irresponsible teenage way of thought.

In the good old days we could take a joke or criticism and move on with life. Never heard in my days "he hurt my feels. I need a support animal to coop with the anxiety of someone calling me a name."

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

Maria

That’s a good excuse!

Sun damage to skin is relatively recent ( decades) news. Japanese women have been trying to look white for most of the past 100 years.

-13 ( +3 / -16 )

It's not even funny, in English or Japanese.

@savethegaijinToday Explaining the joke is NEVER funny. I don't see a link to video or even a quote of the actual joke. I searched for one and came up empty. I guarantee context has been lost, which is why the comedians stated the jokes were not aimed specifically at Naomi. I believe the PC brigade is making mountains from molehills again, and if you know anything about Japanese women and their obsession with white skin, there is room for such jokes to be funny.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

Tall poppy, no wonder wealthy Japanese have no sympathy for other classes, it's national sport different classes of Japanese society poking each other in the eye.

-14 ( +3 / -17 )

Man I miss the 80's and 90's where everyone made fun of everyone and nobody lost their minds.

-25 ( +28 / -53 )

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