A TikTok video of a woman butchering the pronunciation of “Din Tai Fung” has gone viral.
Uploaded on Dec. 24, 2022, by Joelle Uzyel (@joelleuzyel), an interior designer in Los Angeles, the video begins with Uzyel pronouncing Din Tai Fung as “Ding Fung Choong.”
“You’re wrong,” Uzyel’s son interjects. “You managed to say all three words wrong. It’s Din Tai Fung.”
Rather than correcting herself, Uzyel simply smiles and says “that” while pointing to her son.
@joelleuzyel din tai fung #resturantlife ♬ original sound – Joelle Uzyel
With over 448,700 views as of this writing, TikTok users called Uzyel out in the comments section of the video.
“Wow. Do better. Be better,” one user simply wrote.
“The blatant racism,” another commented.
“You know that was intentional when they laugh when someone corrects them on how to pronounce it right,” a different user deduced.
Although Uzyel has not responded to any of the comments, she temporarily removed the video before it was later reuploaded.
During this time, other TikTok creators uploaded their own videos reacting to her mispronunciation.
@krisduhb #duet with @joelleuzyel ♬ original sound – Joelle Uzyel
“How sad for ur child to be the one to put u in check but tbh are we surprised!” Krista (@krisduhb) wrote in the caption of her reaction video.
At 2.7 million views of this writing, TikTok users took to the comments of Krista’s video to react.
“It’s not really the mispronunciation that’s the mistake – it’s the obvious disdain in her tone and her glee at the fact she pronounces it wrong,” a TikTok user explained.
“Not her going ‘that’ and not even attempting to say it correctly :/ at that point you know it’s not a mistake and it’s her being intentional about,” another user added.
However, some comments defended Uzyel, with one writing, “It’s not that serious. People mispronounce things…”
“‘People mispronounce all the time’ it is not that hard to TRY,” a different user responded. “My mom doesn’t speak English but she tries her absolute hardest to pronounce things correctly. And the fact that English speakers are so entitled and disrespectful they can’t even at least TRY to pronounce it correctly. Disrespectful.”
Jaze Phua, a creator with 1.6 million followers on TikTok, also called out Uzyel with a sarcastic video.
@jazephua If you can pronounce #DaenerysTargaryen FLAWLESSLY you can pronounce ✨Ding Tai Feng✨ too #DingFangChoo #DingTaiFeng ♬ original sound – Jaze Phua
“If you can pronounce #DaenerysTargaryen FLAWLESSLY you can pronounce Ding Tai Feng [sic] too,” he wrote in his description. His video followed the description’s tone as Phua intentionally, but jokingly, mispronounces the names of popular U.S. fast food restaurants.
Additional TikTok creators have called out Uzyel for her video, with some calling her actions racist.
@justinchlee #greenscreenvideo ♬ original sound – justin
@momo.said.no #greenscreenvideo 🙂 #racism #easian #dintaifung #soupdumplings #aahate ♬ original sound – Momo
As of this writing, Uzyel has not addressed the backlash.