Seattle Times columnist Sharon Pian Chan went after the play [The Mikado] in an editorial on July 13. Chan begins her critique with the following:
“Remember when someone pranked a San Francisco TV station into reporting that the names of the Asiana plane crash pilots were “Captain Sum Ting Wong” and “Wi Tu Lo”?
After the station KTVU realized its mistake, it fired three producers.
But in Seattle, at least one theater plans to spend the summer guffawing about how Asian names sound like gibberish…Set in the fictional Japanese town of Titipu — get it? — [The Mikado] features characters named Nanki Poo, Yum-Yum and Pish-Tush. It’s a rom-com where true love is threatened by barbaric beheadings.
All 40 Japanese characters are being played by white actors, including two Latinos. KIRO radio host Dave Ross is in the cast.
It’s yellowface, in your face.”
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I haven’t seen people of color dressing up like white people and making fun of them.