An “Asian Festival” in Columbus, Ohio, hoping to “promote the importance of cultural diversity” has triggered angry reactions among social media users for the lack of actual Asians and Asian Americans on some of its promotional ads.
One poster shows two blue-eyed dolls in traditional Asian attire. Another image, which has since been taken down, depicts a little White girl wearing a cheongsam dress.
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Social media users erupted in anger across Twitter and Facebook, with many commenting on the festival organizers’ insensitivity.
“WTF. Pics of DOLLS, because you can’t find actual Asian humans??” one user wrote.
“You caught the hands of the Internet with your tone deaf poster,” a review on the festival’s Facebook page reads. “I’m not even mad at y’all anymore. At this point, this is just stupid columbusing nonsense LOL. The fact that no one in PR looked at the poster and thought ‘are you sure you want to post up only a white girl for an Asian festival?’ Is just laughable.”
“Ok… one more comment, well, really a question. I want to know if Matt Damon or Tilda Swinton will be at the festival!!!!!” another user commented.
“Growing up in Columbus this image is also controversial to the local Asian American leaders,” Twitter user George Yui wrote. “Its unfortunate because this festival brings the community together and has been around for decades.”
Asian Festival, which is set to run from May 26-27, has yet to speak on the controversial images, but posted a cryptic comment on its own Facebook page, saying, “Guess whose work it is”.