An offensive photo of Miley Cyrus has made its way across the Internet and all the glorious celebrity gossip sites. In it the pop star and her friends are slanting their eyes , some with their fingers, as if to mock people of asian decent.
In response, the Organization of Chinese Americans accused the star of being “a terrible example” to her fans. Further, Lucie Kim, an attorney from Los Angeles of Asian-Pacific-Islander decent, has filed a class-action suit against Miley Cyrus for $4 billion. The basis behind the number is $4,000 for each of approximately 1 million Asian Pacific Islanders in the LA area. The lawsuit claims Cyrus was negligent of not caring and failing to realize the repercussions of the photo being made public and that she acted with “racism, prejudice and mockery.”
Unfortunately, Miley’s people did not make any type of statement until after the lawsuit had been filed. The tween denies any racially charged intent from the photo, that she was just with friends (one of whom is of asian descent). She wrote an initial apology on one of her fansites: “Well, I’m sorry if people looked at those pics and took them out of context. In NO way was I making fun of any ethnicity! I was simply making a goofy face. When did that become newsworthy?…..I definitly feel like people are trying to make me out as the new “BAD GIRL!” To me, this comes off quite childish, I have to wonder if she did have any help writing it or if for some reason the media picking on the little girl approach was what they actually wanted. She sounds like a young girl whining or throwing a fit because she was caught doing something she should not have been. Also, referring to the photo, which is upsetting an entire community, as simply a “goofy” photo does more harm then good.
The Asian-American community felt the young star’s apology was not sincere. In response Miley issued a more heartfelt apology on her official website. “I want to thank all of my fans for their support not only this week, but always! I really wanted to stress how sorry I am if the photo of me with my friends offended anyone. I have learned a valuable lesson from this and know that sometimes my actions can be unintentionally hurtful. I know everything is a part of GOD’s ultimate plan, and mistakes happen so that eventually I will become the woman he aspires me to be. Peace and love. Miles.”
I think this was a better route to take, too bad it took them until there was backlash from the photo and further anger from her juvenile first “I’m sorry” letter. She did accept responsibility, yet I still think a more formal statement should have been made the minute the photos hit the Internet,. Perhaps then it would not have appeared as if she did not care that they caused harm. I also think pulling out the God card was smart in this case. I am sure many of the young girls who watch her show on the Disney channel come up in an attempted wholesome home with religious values. However, her publicity team needs to sit down with Miley and have a serious talk about her actions in the public spotlight.