Several board members of AAJA – Philadelphia took issue with an October Philadelphia City Paper restaurant review that described Asian waitresses as “exotic” and “almond-eyed.” The City Paper has since removed those descriptions.
The letter we sent to the City Paper begins:
Dear Philadelphia City Paper:
In your recent cover story “Five Hidden Culinary Gems in the Northeast”, the article “Exotic Flavors at Uzbekistan Restaurant” includes the following sentence: ”The flavors at Uzbekistan are exotic, much like the almond-eyed waitresses who serve you.”
We find this sentence unacceptable and offensive, as it perpetuates longstanding racial stereotypes about Asian women in the following ways:
It’s part of our mission to make sure that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are covered fairly and accurately in the local media. If you read, hear or see something that you find unfair or inaccurate, email us at aajaphiladelphia AT gmail.com and we’ll review it and respond as necessary.