Google pulls 'Make Me Asian' app after uproar

Jan 18, 2013
Google has removed a "Make Me Asian" app—that let players change their appearance—following an uproar by Asian American activists who said the game promoted derogatory stereotypes.

Google has removed a "Make Me Asian" app—that let players change their appearance—following an uproar by Asian American activists who said the game promoted derogatory stereotypes.

As of Thursday, "Make Me Asian" and similar apps such as "Make Me Fat" and "Make Me (American) Indian" were no longer available on the search engine giant's online store Play.

"Make Me Asian" had billed itself as allowing a person to "make himself a Chinese, Japanese, Korean or any other Asian." The user was able to add features to a person's picture, such as a conical hat or a Fu Manchu mustache.

Nearly 8,500 people signed a petition on the social action site change.org urging Google to remove the app after the blog Angry Asian Man in November drew attention to it, calling it "ridiculously racist."

Peter Chin, the Washington pastor who launched the , said he was concerned that offensive to would become more mainstream if distributed through Google Play.

"I understand if people still use those characterizations, but I don't feel comfortable with them becoming commonplace. That would really, I think, be going backwards for the Asian American community," he told AFP.

"If this were several down the line and these kinds of stereotypes were so old and played out that no one even cared, then I could understand. But I don't think we're quite there yet. They are still fairly offensive and used very often," he said.

Asian American activists often complain that the community is depicted as being perpetually foreign, even though people of Asian heritage have lived in the United States for generations.

Google did not immediately return a request for comment. Chin said that Google only offered formulaic responses over the concerns and did not inform him that it was taking down the app.

Explore further: Encryption made easier: Just talk like a parent

Related Stories

Google boosts Asia data capacity as traffic grows

Dec 15, 2011

Search engine giant Google on Thursday formally launched the construction of a new data centre in Singapore to cope with the explosive growth of Internet traffic in the Asia-Pacific region.

Biracial Asian Americans and mental health

Aug 17, 2008

A new study of Chinese-Caucasian, Filipino-Caucasian, Japanese-Caucasian and Vietnamese-Caucasian individuals concludes that biracial Asian Americans are twice as likely as monoracial Asian Americans to be diagnosed with ...

Recommended for you

FBI chief urges 'robust debate' on encryption

just added

FBI Director James Comey called Monday for public debate on the use of encrypted communications, saying Americans may not realize how radical groups and criminals are using the technology.

LG Display moves advanced touch tech up to notebooks

5 hours ago

LG Display has news for people who are into working with notebook PCs. They have announced lighter and slimmer LCD panels. Unleashing "Advanced In-cell Touch" (AIT) technology, LG Display said on Monday that ...

Italian surveillance company hacked, documents stolen

6 hours ago

An Italian surveillance firm known for selling malicious software used by police bodies and spy agencies has succumbed to a cyberattack, the firm's spokesman said Monday, confirming an embarrassing breach ...

Amazon pushes Prime service with day of deals

6 hours ago

Amazon is trying to lure more subscribers to its $99 Prime loyalty program by pushing a day of discounts it calls "Prime Day" during the sleepier summer shopping season.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.