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MANILA, Philippines – While humor based on pointing out stereotypes can be funny, sometimes the joke just comes out wrong.
Google has taken down a “Make me Asian” app on the Google Play store after public outcry against its continued stay. The app first gained public attention after the author of the Angry Asian Man blog brought attention to it in November 2012.
Made by Google Play user KimberyDeiss, the Make Me Asian app is a picture-altering app for Android devices. After putting up a picture of your face for editing on the app, the user can add stereotypical asian features or props to capture a stereotypical Asian look. According to The Huffington Post, the author also appeared to have made similar apps, such as Make me Russian,” “Make me fat,” and “Make me Irish.” As of this writing, the KimberyDeiss account on Google Play no longer exists.
Peter Chin, a pastor from Washington, D.C., started a petition on Change.org against both the “Make me Asian” and “Make me Indian” apps that helped bring eyes on the issue of perpetuating racist stereotypes.
Regarding the victory of their petition, Chin writes: “I’m deeply thankful to the nearly 10,000 who who signed this Change.org petition to take down these apps. I am also grateful for Google, who heard our outrage and pulled the apps. This may seem like a small victory, but it made an important statement: that minorities will not simply accept dated and offensive stereotypes that are wrongly foisted upon them. We stood up, our voices were heard, and something changed. I hope that our society will take notice and realize that previously voiceless communities will not remain silent any longer.” – Rappler.com