City of LA Department of Public Works Under Fire for Producing Controversial Video Mocking Asians

David Goldstein, CBS Los Angeles, May 9, 2013

The City of Los Angeles Department of Public Works is under fire for producing a controversial video depicting the Asian community—all with taxpayer money, according to CBS2 investigative reporter David Goldstein.

The video, shot at the Japanese Garden at the Tillman Water Reclamation Plant in Van Nuys, showed a non-Asian man dressed as a geisha girl who talked with a mock Japanese accent.

“The Japanese water park is a beautiful, beautiful site, with blooming, blooming lotus and water lilies,” the actor said.

The short was apparently meant to teach viewers about recycled water, which is what they use at the Japanese Garden.

Greg Kimura, the head of the Japanese American National Museum in downtown Los Angeles, was outraged by the film.

“It’s just awful…it’s absolutely offensive. I find it personally offensive and in poor taste. It’s embarrassing, it’s embarrassing to even watch it,” he said.

Kimura continued, “It brings back all the worst stereotypes. The accents, the whiteface. I’m embarrassed for everybody who is involved in this. If there’s a remedy to this, it would be something like an apology and taking it down immediately.”


Goldstein said after he brought it to the city’s attention, the video was taken down from YouTube.

Cora Jackson-Fossett, a spokeswoman for the city’s Department of Public Works, admitted it was in bad taste.

“We apologize profusely that we missed the mark totally. We made a mistake. We’re extremely sorry. It was an attempt at humor that failed,” she said.


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  • Puggg

    And what are the demographics of people who work at L.A. Public Works?

    • Nathanwartooth

      Well they had a Black woman for their spokesperson, so that may give you some idea.

      • Black people are spokespersons for lots of companies that employ nearly all white people. In those companies cases (one of my utilities), it is the only job they are capable of handling. Of course white people write the copy …..

  • Truth

    The thing about mocking the Japanese and the Chinese specifically is that they may smile and pretend to go along with it but inwardly they are seething and you can expect Sun Tzu to surface at some point against you down the road. I had one Chinaman tell me once that “it is better to sit by the river rather than take immediate revenge” and when I asked him why he smiled and said “to better see the body of your enemy float by.” That’s creepy but then that’s how a lot of them think.

    • That is how I have been taught to think by the School of Hard Knocks. My worst enemy in Colorado is in CDoC for molesting kids. He is an ex-federal law-enforcement officer (TSA), and his out-date is 12/31/8888. My ex-father is full of cancer. I didn’t give it to him.

      All one has to do is wait and watch. I wish I had known this much earlier.

      Now that I know, I love watching.

      • Fact Check

        I wouldn’t brag about my father dying, especially when you went to the “School of Hard Knocks” for making extortion and death threats to your own family:

        Obviously, some people never learn…

        • Truth

          I’m often unpleasantly surprised by the behavior and comments of actual racists on this realist forum since I’m not a racist. What draws them here? In any event, I don’t let the issues control my behavior. I purpose to respond to the issues within the legitimate political process fully understanding that “the people” corporately may simply choose to make bad decisions and decisions that I disagree with. The way it looks, they might even bring it all down. Who knows. But either way, whether they do or whether they do not, I am grounded in a positive worldview and maintain a healthy spiritual life. I’m not perfect but I know I’m going through and in the end to a better place and I don’t much care whether others affirm or reject that assertion.

          While understanding the principles of strategy and tactics is beneficial in life, spending one’s life “sitting by the river” playing Machiavellian games of viciousness and revenge with enemies we create through our choices and words ultimately results in complete spiritual bankruptcy.

          Better to consider the words of Jesus who exhorted us to live in peace when possible, love our neighbors, and seek reconciliation instead of a cycle of revenge. Wisdom is supposed to guide knowledge… not the other way around. Peace.

  • Rhialto

    This is another example of special groups fighting each other, instead of fighting heterosexual non-liberal white men. In this case, it’s the liberal tree huggers/transvestites at war with the Japanese-Americans.

    I hope it continues, and increases.

    • Room101

      Why is the Dept. of Public Works spending taxpayer money collected from White people to produce videos that they know or should have known are likely to make a government agency (the taxpayers) look more “racist”?
      The White taxpayers are just going to have to open their wallets again to clean up this Public Works blunder.

  • IstvanIN

    The Geisha girl looks Hispanic to me.

    • crystal evans

      And she is ugly too.

    • My thought too.

  • Room101

    Just imagine how much more funding the die-versity bureaucrats @ the LA Dept. of Public Works can now demand in future budgets. I wouldn’t be surprised if the die-versocrats weren’t doing stuff like this to foment outcries for more taxpayer funding for more fake snivel-rights indoctrination.
    The need for more die-versity instruction could really be demonstrated if the Dept would buy lots of little toy rainbow colored nooses and hang them throughout Los Angeles for kwaanza.

  • me

    LOL! What was that mantra, about ‘only Whites can be racist’? Lol!

    • Room101

      When it’s all boiled down, only “racists” have to pay all the taxes, or else….

  • bigone4u

    Loved the end where it was a BLACK woman apologizing. You won’t see that very often. Wish it had been Moochelle Obama. That said, the vid offended my intelligence because it was stupid and the protest offended my intelligence because it was stupid too. According to the principle I see here, no one but a Dane can play Hamlet, only a German can play Hitler, and only a real mullato can play Barack Obama when his life story hits the video circuit. Stupid.

    • Room101

      Of course the cascading failures will require trillions more in Government spending to step up government threats that White-people better “be nice” and pay more and quit being so “racist”, or else.
      That’s how this kind of stuff goes.

      We’re on Our Own, folks.

    • And only white people should be in historic European written plays and operas.
      Let them set precedents that can be used by whites against all minorities’ demands.

  • 8uhb

    The Japanese American Museum is run by a white guy?!

    The geisha is played by a mestizo?!

    It was taken down because a jew complained about it?!

    So much weird.

    • crystal evans

      He looks biracial.

    • The white guy is Greg Kimura, which means he probably has a Japanese father and a white mother.

  • LHathaway

    “I’m not a racist. What draws them here?”

    White women on the arms of black men. And others. It personally wouldn’t bother me if an apparent equal number of other women were in the arms white men.

    On the plus side, once I couldn’t take any more, and also understood I was able to make moral arguments against the diversitoids, it was much easier for me to come out of my closet.

    It was an awakening of sorts. By my own observation. I began to notice our society is not racist against people of color, it’s racist against whites and white men.

    It’s got to get to kids struggling to reach maturity – something that is hard enough on it’s own. No wonder so many turn out ‘gay’. I remember being in training in the army, at one our sargeats asked us why we joined the army. One guy said, ‘he joined the army to become a man’.

    I have a lot in common with many leftists. We’re paralized by a unpleasant quandry. We each can’t decide whether or efforts to end racism, or our efforts at ending sexism are having greater effect. . .

    • Rhialto

      There are many issues, mainly economic, that in 1960 I considered very important. In 1960 America was still a nation. Today America is an abnormal entity, no longer a nation in the sense that a nation is a people. So today, I no longer consider economic systems and social laws (abortion, drugs, homosexuality) important.

      Today, the issues that I care about are massive non-white immigration, govenmenal fiscal insanity, anit-white male attitudes, and environmental destruction. Anybody who agrees with me on these issues is my ally, other issues I now ignore.

  • Intrepid

    If this was meant to be educational, then it could have been done without any theatrics whatsoever.

  • The__Bobster

    “It brings back all the worst stereotypes. The accents, the whiteface. I’m embarrassed for everybody who is involved in this.”

    Geishas don’t wear whiteface?

    • That they do, they just don’t usually have a penis.

  • Non Humans

    What sticks out to me in this article, others like it (where people make an attempt at humor and end up “Huuwting Sumwuns’ Widdle Feewings”), and in countless other articles where reality is observed, evaluated, and finally those observations published (Especially on issues of race), is the use of the phrase “X Came Under Fire”.
    All of these poor little special-interest groups are so sensitive and always get their widdle feewings huuwt that they have to go after them and “Put Them Under Fire”. If I would have known that whining was such a profitable business before getting my education, I just might have gone to law school.
    The fact that they are able to make so much money whining about their widdle huuwt feewings only serves to validate the stereotypes. It’s like I always say about the nonhumans, if they were’nt guilty of all of the crimes, behaviours, and other stereotypes that they are known for, they would care less how we referred to them.

  • I suspect the person “dolled up” is at least partly black. Look at the bridge of the nose and the width of the nostrils. I don’t feel offended by the video itself; rather I feel this waste of tax money rubs me completely the wrong way.

    Why does a public utility need to advertise at all? Are rate-payers going to switch to a different water treatment company?

  • if you can’t take a joke….

  • Paleoconn

    Even Asians have jumped into the victim payola game.

  • newscomments70

    I can see the look of horror in that man’s face at the Asian center. Asians in the U.S. mostly support Democratic agendas and candidates. They side with blacks and hispanics against whites, believing that only whites can be racist. Asians, as well as white liberals, should be horrified by this racist, sexually depraved, video. Blacks and hispanics have controlled LA since 1973. (LA has not been American since 1973). This video is their future. It looks like a video taken of the weird perversions going on in Liberia. It’s not Liberia though, it’s Los Angeles.

  • ViktorNN

    On the other hand, if the video mocked white male “redneck trailer trash,” it would have been nominated for an academy award.

  • Maribel Guardia

    I have to chuckle at that video, and it’s associated complaint by the angry eurasian. But in all reality I must say that it certainly was in bad taste to spend public money in an antagonistic video production. Me being me, I would laugh at a purposed water conserving [email protected] parody; but, I wouldn’t like the idea of having the funny people, taking it, and spinning it, to put me down. Speaking of public water works: why is the government sponsoring a utility? Sure it’s great when no one will do the job, but this is Los Angeles; a megatropolis. A state owned enterprise must break up and privatize when the job of outreach is complete. I greatly dislike public employee unions; these are overpaid and underworked vermin. With their union-dues siphoned off to fund political machines, it just greatly causes a noise amplification. More customers? Jack up the rates! It’s all one giant circle.