The Office may be a pop culture icon, but there were some problematic issues on the show. Past actors from the series are now calling some of them out. Kat Ahn appeared in just one episode of the show, 2006’s “A Benihana Christmas.” In the episode, Michael Scott brings two Asian waitresses — one of them played by Ahn — to a party and marks one of them on the arm because of his inability to tell them apart.
Ahn was disappointed at being on the show “just… to be the joke,” telling The Washington Post, “You’re told to shut up and be grateful. Actors have no power until they become a star.”
Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey, who also acted on the show, spoke about the episode on their podcast Office Ladies (via IndieWire), saying the objectifying moment was “cringe” inducing. “I just don’t think this storyline would have been written today,” said Kinsey.
It's not just the stars of The Office who are speaking out against anti-Asian racism
Ahn’s comments come during a period of heightened anti-Asian sentiment which she has also raised awareness of on social media. In one TikTok video, she is seen holding a taser and paper spray. “Asian Americans leaving the house in 2021,” reads the on-screen text. In the caption, she added the hashtags #ProtectAsianLives and #StopAAPIHate.
Other stars have been speaking out against the ongoing wave of violence against Asians lately, including Sandra Oh, who appeared at a Stop Asian Hate rally earlier this month, and Olivia Munn who has been vocal on social media. “Please help my people be safe,” she wrote in a February Instagram post. “Please care about what’s happening to us. There has been an astronomical rise in violent hate crimes against Asians/AAPI since the pandemic was weaponized against us. We need help.”
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