The above screencap is from an ad for an Alabama law firm named McCutcheon and Hamner. If you are wondering if placing this still image in context with the rest of the 21 seconds of video in the ad somehow explains things in a way that makes it anything less than “really, really super racist,” well…
So, yes. Very, very racist. But here’s where things start to get strange.
After the video popped up on the YouTube account of Definitive Television and started racking up tens of thousands of views (and some less-than-glowing press), McCutcheon and Hamner posted this message on the firm’s Facebook page…
McCutcheon and Hamner’s YouTube Channel has been hacked. Our firm did not approve the latest advertising commercial. We apologize to anyone who has watched the commercial. Our IT team has been working all morning to get the commercial taken off YouTube and find the person who is responsible for this action.
… and sent a statement to Above the Law that included this by way of explanation, before it got into a passionate defense of the South and what appear to be claims of reverse racism.
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.
As far as DeBerry’s involvement in all of this … hoo boy. A quick scroll through his Twitter account reveals that he is (a) very much not sorry for the ad, and (b) willing to reply to every single person who tweets at him. He also sent an explanation/denial statement to Above the Law, but I think the description on the video’s YouTube page sums his feelings up best.
We had been hired to create this satire video using our Mr. Wong Fong Shu character.
The copy or script is not ours, the client paid us and provided their copy / script.
At this time, we will not confirm or deny if they firm ordered his video directly or indirectly.
In the world of politically incorrectness and the client’s 1st amendment right, we created this satire comedy video. This video is intentionally Cheesy B Rate.
We have over hundreds upon hundreds of verified customers.
Mr. Wong Fong Shu does not say violent things or act in physical harm or assault.
WARNING HE MAY OFFEND YOU AND IF YOU DON’T LIKE HIM, DON’T WATCH HIM. If you’re offended and still watch him, we hope you enjoy picking the wad out of your panties and it gives your relief.
WARNING: This character is not for the sensitive or intended for children.
This character was inspired in the same prerogative or edgy vein as
Robert Downey Jr., in “Tropic Thunder”
Marlon Wayans and Shawn Wayans in “White Chicks”
C. Thomas Howell in “Soul Man”
Jackie Chan in “Shanghai Noon” and “Shanghai Knights”
Ken Jeong in “Hangover”
Ryan Higa in Ryan Higa Show
Cheech” Marin in Cheech & Chong
Stephen Colbert Asian Skit
Eddie Murphy playing Buckwheat on SNL
Bobby Moynihan as PSY on SNL
Jonathan Pryce playing the Engineer in “Miss Saigon.
Jim Carrey as Vera De Milo on In Living Color
John Cho in Harold and Kumar
Aziz Ansari stand up
Ashton Kucther in brown-face
SNL iphone 5 skit
IF YOU ARE ON A SENSITIVE WITCH HUNT, OUR SUGGESTION IS TO FOCUS YOUR ATTENTION TO MURDERERS, DRUG DEALERS, And CHILD MOLESTERS THAT LIVE NEAR BY YOU and get over us.
We are respect your 1st amendment right and your freedom of opinion and speech on our comment board and will approve your comments. Due to the overwhelming feedback (50% positive and 50% negative) and at the request of McCutheon & Hamner at Law we have elected to disable the comment thread. We may open the comment section back up soon when we can reply.
We believe the client wanted this video for top mind awareness and shock value. We cannot speak on behalf of our client.
There was a part of me that was dying to know how a white guy checking off almost every box on the Asian stereotype checklist — in under 25 seconds, mind you — is anything at all like “Jackie Chan in Shanghai Noon and Shanghai Knights” and “Aziz Ansari stand up,” but then I got to “Ashton Kucther in brown-face,” and … yeah, nope. Just gonna take a pass on that one.
Anyway, for those of you keeping score, this story features the following things: a viral video, claims of racism, claims of reverse racism, defenses of racism that include “Oh, but it’s okay when they do it?,” claims of hacking, and a blatant misunderstanding of what exactly the First Amendment protects and does not protect. It is peak Internet.