The last time I think I blogged about smartphone app was a “review” of Design Your Dream Asian Girl for the iPhone. Even though it has been out for a while, in the past few days, I’ve seen links about the latest ridiculous app, Make Me Asian for Android, as described in Google Play posted on Facebook in my news feed:
Have you ever wondered to present himself as a person of another nationality? You can imagine, for example, Chinese or Japanese? No? Then immediately take your phone and download it amazing Android-application called «Make me Asian».
This is just a fun app lets you indulge you and your friends! You can for a few seconds to make himself a Chinese, Japanese, Korean or any other Asians!
The last time I recall seeing someone “imagining” oneself being Asian was watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Now some folks may think that this is a harmless app and that some Asian Americans might be overacting in offense to this app, but do you think the developer of this app would publish a similar app like “Make Me Jewish,” “Make Me Black,” (or worse – “Make Me N*gger”) or “Make Me Hispanic” and not expect a large backlash by the Jewish, African American or Hispanic community? And guess what – no such apps exist by the same publisher (or in Google Play as far as I can see).
Slanting one’s eyes, adding a Fu Manchu mustache and rice paddy hat doesn’t exactly make you a modern Asian American and just plays into past racist stereotypes against Asians. And someone is trying to do something about trying to get Google to take down the app from the Google Play store:
“Washington pastor Peter Chin decided to mount an even larger protest on the website Change.org. Chin said he understood Google’s motto is “Don’t be evil.” That makes it hard to fathom why the company would support these apps, he said. This is the first time Chin has protested in this way. He was prompted to act, he said, because Google refused to do so.”
18MillionRising.org is also has an online petition asking Google to take down the app. It’s interesting that this app is only available for Android. Generally, since Apple’s iPhone App Store reviews and has a much stricter app approval process, I wonder if this app would have been approved by Apple? I’m guessing probably not – and that the developer knew this since most app developers (at least for English speaking countries) develop for the iPhone first. I’ve already reported this to Google via their online reporting tool and stating that the app is Hateful or abusive content, per their terms and conditions.