Do the Harajuku Girls who accompany Gwen Stefani in her videos and public appearances cross a line into offensive territory? Margaret Cho thinks so. Well, sort of. ”I want to like them, and I want to think they are great, but I am not sure if I can,” the comedian writes in her blog. In Cho’s mind, ”a Japanese schoolgirl uniform is kind of like blackface,” but on the other hand, given how few high-profile Asian Americans there are in mainstream pop culture, she argues ”at least it is a measure of visibility, which is much better than invisibility.”
Lest Cho lose heart, however, today’s TV Tattle links to an article in AsianWeek.com that cites a surge of Korean American actors on network TV, including roles on Lost, Kitchen Confidential, Grey’s Anatomy, and several midseason series. With such an encouraging trend emerging, perhaps the always hilarious Cho won’t have to ”settle for following any white person around with an umbrella just so I could say I was there.”
What do you think? Does Cho have a valid argument? And if Stefani sang about her desire to have enough money to possess, dress, and name four adult black women, or Jewish women, or lesbians, would she be facing a greater public outcry?