My Not So Divine Providence

I just saw this over at Angry Asian Man and had to just go ahead and pull the whole post down and copy and paste it here. It’s so sad when I see stuff about my hometown that just annoys me.


Got this from a reader named Wen last week… it’s an ad in Providence Monthly for a new “fusion” restaurant called Chinese Laundry
in Rhode Island. I think it pretty much speaks for itself. Definitely
something to get your Asian fetish on. Goodness. It’s such a perfect
example of racist, sexist objectification in advertising. And
then you call the restaurant “Chinese Laundry,” to top it all off.
Please tell me the wait staff wears coolie hats, because that would be
so fabulous. Really, what does a headless, naked, tattooed woman have
anything to do with Asian food? It’s ridiculous. Then again, the ad
seems to suggest that if I dine at this restaurant, I will get to see
actual Asian nudity. It’s blatant exoticization. Come and get it.

it’s so exotic and new and different. It’s even more insulting
considering the history behind this particular restaurant. In the space
where th
e restaurant now stands, there used to be an actual
Chinese-owned laundry shop, Sam Sing Laundry. But the building was
sold, and the family that ran the laundry, the Lais, were evicted in
2002, closing the doors on a significant part of Chinese American
history in the area: The Last Word. Enter the Chow Fun Group, appropriating the Chinese laundry concept and turning it into an oh-so-clever restaurant theme. And employing racist, sexist advertising. I wouldn’t call myself a prude, but I’m surprised this ad even got published.

Jenn has a couple of good postings on the ad over at Reappropriate. If this image disturbs and angers you, and you’d like to voice your disgust to the appropriate people, contact the “Maestro” of Chow Fun Food Group, John Elkhay:

John Elkhay
Chow Fun Food Group
201 Wayland Square
Providence, RI 02906

Also consider writing to the Providence Monthly, who published the ad:

Providence Monthly
167 Valley Street
Providence RI 02909
Phone 401.521.0023 /// Fax 401.521.0024

’em hell. Hopefully they’ll get the message that this is not an
appropriate way to sell “Asian” food. Hell, it’s not an appropriate way
to sell anything. That’s racist! (Thanks, Wen.)


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