Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes What's happening in Asian America? Get a daily email to stay informed, educated, and entertained.
Internet personality and former Vine star, Brittany Furlan is being criticized for an Instagram post with a racially insensitive caption.
The 32-year-old shared a photo of herself and her fiancé on Instagram with the caption, “With my Asian boyfriend Yoshi, don’t tell Tommy.”
This statement was a clear reference to Furlan’s 56-year-old partner, Tommy Lee, who is pictured with squinted eyes. Consequently, the post immediately sparked a debate online, with some criticizing her for her ignorant behavior while others defended Furlan’s actions.
Following the backlash, the former Vine star did not respond directly to the criticisms or take the post down but quickly changed the caption of the photo to, “He’s actually not high, this is just his face.”
View this post on Instagram
A day after she posted the photo of her and Lee, she issued the following apology on Twitter which did not contain much detail but many believed was referring to the controversial Instagram post.
I’d like to apologize to anyone I’ve ever offended with any of my content or videos…it was never intended to be harmful and didn’t come from a place of malice. All I can say is that I am happy to learn and grow 🌱
— @BrittanyFurlan (@BrittanyFurlan) January 19, 2019
However, this isn’t the first time Furlan and Lee have been accused of making racist remarks.
Brittany Furlan, who was the most-followed video star on Vine when the platform shut down, has been called to remove several videos in the past after similar criticisms regarding racially insensitive content. One of her most viral videos featured Furlan with a swastika drawn on her forehead while in another video, she mocked Sikhs by dressing in a turban with drawn-on facial hair.
Furlan has also been criticized in 2014 for making rape and race jokes as a daytime Emmy’s red carpet host.
The former Vine star has a complicated history of making racist jokes across her several social media platforms, such as on her Twitter.
In the past she has tweeted racially insensitive jokes such as “Just gave myself a pedicure and talked in an Asian accent the whole time to make the experience feel legit” and “Weird that when Asian people say, ‘rice’ it sounds like, ‘lice’?” Even stating that she “[wants] to punch Asian girls” after watching a documentary starring Charlyne Yi, who plays Chloe on “We Bare Bears”.
Similarly, her soon-to-be husband, Tommy Lee, who is a founding member of the American rock band, Mötley Crüe, has been severely criticized several years ago for a swastika tattoo which has since been covered up.
In an interview with the San Antonio Current, he responded to criticisms by stating:
“As a matter of fact, it’s a Buddhist peace symbol [it is also used by Buddhists, but its origins are Hindu]. I got so much flak I just covered it up. Lots of ignorant people out there. It’s a f**king swastika…”
According to Furlan’s Twitter account, the couple are to be wed in just two days.