Let's say you're in need of a lawyer, but, for some twisted reason, you're only willing to hire someone who reminds you of Mickey Rooney's I.Y. Yunioshi character from Breakfast at Tiffany's. Well, you're in luck! Here's an ad supposedly released by Alabama law firm McCutcheon and Hamner, which features a white dude acting out an outrageously racist East Asian caricature — complete with fake squinty eyes and a "Confucius says..." tagline.
The ad is certainly reason enough to inspire outrage against McCutcheon and Hamner, but here's the thing — the law firm is denying any responsibility, claiming they never hired nor even heard of Definitive Television, the production company that produced it.
Angry Asian Man was among the first blogs to pick up on the ad, reporting that while Definitive Television had come up with the character (named — groan — Mr. Wong Fong Shu), it was McCutcheon and Hamner who came up with the copy. The info attached to the YouTube video reiterates this, however the law firm is insistent that they had zero involvement and that they will be taking legal action against Jim DeBerry, the man behind the commercial and Definitive Television.
McCutcheon and Hamner have released the following statement to Above The Law:
For the past two weeks, we have worked diligently to determine the source of this video. Within hours of first being notified of the commercials existence, we traced the producer to Definitive Television and its owner Jim DeBerry. We insisted that the video be removed and that he disclose the party that allowed my partner and I to be portrayed in such a negative and misleading light. After a personal review of our financial records which conclusively established that this video was not paid for or authorized by any party associated with our law firm, McCutcheon & Hamner, P.C. posted our response specifically disavowing the video as well as issuing a cease and desist letter to Mr. DeBerry and Definitive Television. Of course, Mr. DeBerry has refused and we are currently investigating our legal options. At this time, we have been instructed by our legal counsel to refrain from comment.
While DeBerry has yet to take down the video or release any public statement explaining his actions, he did explain one thing:
@khayters I appreciate your viewing but to the contrary, I'm not a racist. I have many friends of various races and a top minority employer.
— Jim DeBerry (@RealJimDeBerry) November 25, 2013
Oh, okay, then.
And good news for you other "not racist" racists out there — you can hire Mr. Wong Fong Shu to yellowface it up at your next party, fair or convention.