Kate Gosselin has responded to media-driven backlash that began yesterday over a photo posted to Twitter which shows the reality TV celebrity apparently mocking Asian culture with what some called a “racist” gesture.
The photo shows Gosselin wearing an Asian-looking headpiece and pulling her eyelids to each side, apparently mocking Asian physical features. I covered the story yesterday, and we were among the few publications that expressed doubt over the offensiveness of the photo.
Racism among celebrities has become a hot-button issue in recent weeks due to the Paula Deen scandal, but I thought that Gosselin’s “racist” Twitter picture needed a bit more unpacking before throwing the R-word around.
The photo was posted by a Twitter account under the name “Katie Deen,” which has few followers and only hosts the one tweet, showing Gosselin’s “racist” photo. It has a caption that reads “@Kateplusmy8 Makes fun of Asians with 8 half Korean children.”
@Kateplusmy8 Makes fun of Asians with 8 half Korean children. @IMPerel @EmeraldCityJazz @Allisstair @SchmekyGirl pic.twitter.com/a5BKuGLFpo
— katie deen (@katiedeen888kat) June 24, 2013
But amazingly, no one seems to care who is running that account, what their motives may be, and what their relationship (if any) to Kate Gosselin is. Context be damned, many media publications have branded the photo inexcusable and racist, but with eight Korean-American children and an ex-husband of the same race, that’s kind of hard to imagine.
Could it be that Gosselin’s photo, while perhaps tasteless, was innocent? That seemed to be the tone of Gosselin’s response when she finally addressed the photo:
She told E! News that “a common topic of our show was ‘everybody’s Asian except for Mommy.'”
Gosselin continued, explaining that the headpiece was part of a costume consisting of Asian garb sent by a fan to help her fit in.
“Jon and I were opening fan mail together one afternoon — which often filled the garage of our Elizabethtown home — and when we opened this plastic Asian dress-up wig sent from a caring fan, we smiled, each taking turns posing in it and snapping photos (on my phone) of each other. Naturally, I ‘slanted’ my eyes to show him my best Asian impression, which made him smile,” she said.
“I married an Asian. I have eight biracial children, therefore I’m quite certain that I’m the last person that could be called a racist.”
I kind of agree. The best argument you could make here is that Gosselin’s picture was in poor taste. “Racist” is probably a stretch. Now all she needs is ex-hubby Jon to vouch for the story, and it’s pretty much a shut case …
… Except that we still don’t know who “Katie Deen” is, and have a few questions we’d like to ask him/her. So I’m calling “Katie Deen” out as a coward. I’m not really a fan of Kate Gosselin (or reality TV in general), but if there’s one thing I hate, it’s bullshit.
Katie Deen, you’ll be hearing from me. You can reach out to me following any of the links in the author box below.
Do you think Kate Gosselin is a racist?