Sharareh Drury, Hollywood Reporter, December 13, 2019
Media Action Network for Asian Americans is calling on NBC to end its business ties with Jay Leno.
In a statement about the former Tonight Show host, the organization references Leno’s August appearance on America’s Got Talent and a racially insensitive joke he made regarding Koreans eating dog meat. While the joke was cut from the variety show’s broadcast, it was included in a report about Gabrielle Union’s outcry over the show’s problematic workplace culture during production of season 14 (The Hollywood Reporter confirmed the joke took place). Union was dismissed after one season on the NBC show alongside fellow freshman judge Julianne Hough.
MANAA’s founding president Guy Aoki shared in a statement that the organization is asking for “NBC to end its business relationship” with Leno, as CNBC has also aired several seasons of Jay Leno’s Garage.
NBC declined to comment.
The statement adds that despite multiple meetings with NBC executives, including “admonishment from a high-ranking NBC executive and two advertiser campaigns,” Leno has “been an unrepentant repeat offender and still has a bizarre fixation with Asians eating dogs.”