American comedian Lil Duval is being called out online for mocking custom jewelry creator Johnny Dang after he spoke Vietnamese in a collaborative Instagram video Powell posted to his account.
The American comedian, whose real name is Roland Powell, posted the video of him hanging out with Dang in an outdoor setting to Instagram on Saturday.
The brief video starts with the 47-year-old Vietnamese jeweler speaking to someone off-camera in Vietnamese, when Powell, 44, turns the focus on himself and begins mocking Dang by speaking gibberish.
Many commenters to Powell’s post seemed to find the video hilarious, with one user writing, “Bruh talkin in cursive,” while another said, “He been in America so long but can only say TV Johnny & #diamondboyz.”
Vietnamese chef, filmmaker and “Top Chef” alumni Tu David Phu, meanwhile, called out Powell in an Instagram post on Sunday, saying the video was “nothing short of the disgusting role of Mickey Rooney playing Mr. Yunioshi in the 1961 ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s.’”
“This is disgusting, ignorant and coherently [racist],” Phu said, demanding Powell apologize.
“[Johnny Dang] is … respected in the Vietnamese community. In amidst of his thoughtful words in Vietnamese you omit this racists sh*t amidst AAPI month,” he continued. “It’s disturbing that it comes from [a] BIPOC entertainer such as yourself. We are disappointed and disgusted.”
Kena Peay, who won NBC’s “Food Fighters” Season 1, Episode 2, also stood by Phu’s message, writing, “There is a long damaging history of people mocking how our beautiful Asian sisters and brothers and how they speak. It has never been funny. And this isn’t funny. Mocking anyone’s cultural is not a joke.”
“Not funny at all. Never was, never will be. Ignorant and dismissive af of other cultures,” chef Adrienne Cheatham also wrote.
The video of Powell mocking Dang remains on his Instagram page. The comedian has yet to respond to the criticism.