NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
Tinder has come under fire over a Hong Kong login video that shows a white woman swiping right on all the men who show up on her feed, except the one Asian. Critics say the dating app is perpetuating the stereotype that Asian men are unattractive.
The 30-second video was seen by Hong Kong Tinder users in the week beginning Aug. 21, but was taken down after three days amid complaints and an accusation by the Asian youth online magazine Nextshark that it was taking “a very cheap shot” at Asian men.
Ariadna Peretz, founder and managing director of the Maitre D’ate matchmaking agency in Hong Kong, said, “This video not only disrespects the market that Tinder seeks to serve, but also reinforces the stereotype that Asian men aren’t attractive to women.”
Tinder told has told digital news outlet Quartz that it is not running the video in any region any longer. “This video was part of a small test that we rejected and are no longer using. Though it was not our intention, we see in retrospect how the content could be seen as insensitive, and we deeply apologize for any offense caused,” said a spokesman. “We believe that everyone deserves the chance to find their match on Tinder and we strive to make it a community of acceptance and inclusivity for all individuals.”
Asian men peeved at Tinder have data to back up their grievances. In 2014, dating site OKCupid revealed that Asian men, along with Black women, tend to get fewer matches than members of other races. And a study, Leadership Perceptions as a Function of Race-Occupation Fit: The Case of Asian Americans, by University of California Riverside Professor Thomas Sy (who is Asian), showed that Asian Americans, when compared to whites especially, are thought to be lacking in charisma and considered less dominant specifically because of their ethnic background. His study focused on Asian Americans in the workplace. ■