The son of a Japanese American has successfully lobbied Bravo to drop the use of the acronym “JAP,” which, despite being widely used as an ethnic slur, is used on the channel’s upcoming show Princess Long Island to refer to a “Jewish-American Princess.”
But Michael Yaki – a former San Francisco supervisor and current Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights – wasn’t amused by the witty acronym.
“This promo ran again and again and I got madder and madder and said, ‘This is not right,’ ” Yaki told the San Francisco Chronicle. “I’m the son of a Japanese American who spent a part of his childhood behind barbed wire in an internment camp in the Arizona desert. It is a term that offends Japanese Americans and Asian Americans.”
Ultimately, the television channel agreed. Bravo chose to yank the term from promos and upcoming episodes of the new show.
A portion of the letter Yaki sent to Bravo executives read:
“While I understand that there has been a regional colloquial use of the word, the time is long past that it should be a word that Bravo actively promotes on its network. You can see that it is so offensive to me that I cannot even spell the whole word out,” Yaki writes.
“No word, of course, on whether Yaki or the Commission are going to go after any of the other stereotypes on Bravo, from the presentation of Italian families on The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Persians in Shahs of Sunset, or women in general on the network,” Yaki continues.
“Maybe because the people who fall into those stereotypes are playing them for fun, profit, and tabloid covers, they come across as less objectionable. Or maybe we see so many images of Italians being loud, African-American women being dramatic, and women in general undermining each other that we’ve lost the capacity to be jarred by more of the same,” he concludes.