Rosie says she's sorry for mocking spoken Chinese
Associated Press
Dec 15, 2006

NEW YORK - Rosie O'Donnell says she's sorry for mocking spoken Chinese on "The View," but an association that represents journalists from diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds, including Chinese American, says it wasn't enough.

In a Dec. 5 segment, O'Donnell joked about how Danny DeVito's recent - and seemingly drunken - appearance on the ABC daytime talk show had become international news.

"You know, you can imagine in China it's like ching chong, ching chong chong, Danny DeVito, ching chong chong chong, drunk, "The View," ching chong,' " the 44-year-old comedian said.

On Thursday's show, she told the audience: "To say ching chong to someone is very offensive, and some Asian people have told me it's as bad as the n-word. Which I was like, Really? I didn't know that.' "

Karen Lincoln Michel, president-elect of Unity: Journalists of Color Inc., said O'Donnell's remarks "really didn't sound like an apology to me."

Lincoln Michel said Unity was waiting for Barbara Walters, who created the show, to respond to a letter asking her to publicly acknowledge that O'Donnell's remarks were "patently offensive."

"I think by allowing Rosie O'Donnell's cheap jabs at Chinese Americans to go unchecked, then the network is essentially condoning racial and ethnic slurs," Lincoln Michel told the AP in a phone interview.

Unity said it represents more than 10,000 journalists nationwide.

"You know it was never (my) intent to mock," O'Donnell said on Thursday's show, "and I'm sorry for those people who felt hurt or were teased on the playground."

"But I'm also gonna give you a fair warning that there's a good chance I'll do something like that again, probably in the next week - not on purpose. Only cause it's how my brain works."

O'Donnell characterized her accent as "Chinese, Asian, pseudo-Japanese, sounded a little Yiddish ..."