Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ) and the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) want NBC to cut ties with Jay Leno amid an America’s Got Talent investigation after his joke which stereotyped Asian Americans.
In separate statements, the advocacy groups condemned the 69-year-old for joking that Simon Cowell’s pet dogs looked like something one would find “on the menu at a Korean restaurant.” It occurred during his stint as a guest judge on the 14th season of “America’s Got Talent,” four insiders present on the taping claimed—with one adding that he did so in the presence of an Asian staffer.
Former judge Gabrielle Union reportedly called out the racist joke—which never made it on the air—among other problematic incidents, allegedly leading to her exit from the talent show.
John C. Yang, the president and executive director of AAAJ said, “Jay Leno is a repeat offender in denigrating a part of our Asian American community and it must stop.” Yang added he believes this type of humor is “so toxic because it is intended to minimize a community and somehow make that community seem less civilized.”
NBC has not responded to the latest backlash against Leno.