Look At The Wacky White Lady Pretending To Be Japanese!

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
So, the new trailer for The Lone Ranger arrived yesterday sparking a good amount of discussion around these parts around the issue of racial stereotyping, particularly where the character of Tonto is concerned. Well, here's a little something to take your mind off of that particular film because upcoming Dutch comedy Ushi Must Marry is here to demonstrate that while they may not be able to rival Hollywood budgets there are other areas where they've got the big studios beat, no problem.

Yep, this is a movie that seemingly exists solely so that audiences can laugh at Wendy Van Dijk donning a wig and riffing on and most flagrant Japanese stereotypes possible as the titular Ushi Hirosaki. It's a part Van Dijk created for a series of stunts on Dutch television in which she posed as a TV Tokyo reporter to goon visiting celebrities - raising the obvious question of why pretending to be a Japanese person acting like an idiot is funnier than being a Dutch person acting like an idiot - but there's not even the pretense that the joke is on the celebrities in this feature outing. This is pure, "Hey, look! Japanese people are wacky!" as played out by someone very definitely not Japanese.

Could there be more to it? Could there be some Borat level social satire here? Maybe, but I don't see it. And, speaking as someone who has actually been to Kazakhstan post-Borat let's just say the joke isn't considered very funny there.
Around the Internet:
  • John

    I've come to the conclusion that the people here have no sense of humor. She's acting weird for any culture, Japanese, Dutch or otherwise. It's just silly humor. People are so serious these days. If it was reversed, I hope the Dutch would be able to laugh at it. Really, folks, choose your battles, don't you have anything more important to fight against? Real Japanese people act nothing like her, everyone knows that.

  • Raffelwick

    The only way to explain this lack of humour, typical of the arrogant Dutch, is to speculate van Dijk is trying to get back at Japanese people for the way Japanese Empire military treated the Dutch in Indonesia after they, having bullied themselves as the masters of the Indonesian people for 300 years, dishonored themselves as soldiers by surrendering in two weeks.

  • Kenji Sugahara

    That just looks stupid as shit.

  • elizabethcostello

    Sickening. In 2012, no less. When. Will. This. Racist. Ish. End?

  • TheTaskmaster

    who in the fuck would want to see this

  • I don't think anyone would seriously want to see this movie.

  • hutch

    ...also kind of bored with ethnic people shrugging this garbage off as if the only way to co-exist is just go along with this junk without challenging it.

  • hutch

    I'm not oversensitive. I just bored with the so-called non-racist sect of the master race making $$$ off of white versions of better stuff than they can think of on their own.

  • hutch

    *I'm

  • Niels Matthijs

    "My problem with Ushi is not so much how offensive the stereotyping is (that actually says more of the audience and victims than about Wendy) but that I have never ever been able to laugh about her antics."

    Hear hear Ard.Racist stereotyping is a big part of comedy these days, definitely when watching stand-up routines. People are just a little oversensitive when it finds its way into movies.

    Sadly Van Dijk isn't very funny and her shows are truly cringe-worthy.

  • Ard Vijn

    Oh for crying out loud please don't bring this up... this is not something we'd want other countries to see.

    The reason for Wendy van Dijk to play a wacky Japanese character (she started with this back in 1999) was so she wouldn't be recognized. In recent years she's changed her persona every time the previous one got too famous, same as Sacha Baron Cohen was forced to. These days she only uses Ushi for foreign guests. Everybody agrees that the character is offensive but apparently a shocking number of people worldwide think Japanese are weird anyway, so she's surprisingly successful with this strategy.

    My problem with Ushi is not so much how offensive the stereotyping is (that actually says more of the audience and victims than about Wendy) but that I have never ever been able to laugh about her antics. I just don't think it's funny and on the level of mediocre prank-calling.

  • hutch

    Yeah, Japanese people have some weird shit in their culture. How exactly does that mean this is kosher? I know plenty of Japanese who think that weird Japanese shit is, well, weird. If someone made art goofing on whites, people would get tired of it real quick and be pretty vocal about it, I'm willing to bet.

  • Ard Vijn

    Did I say this was kosher? Did I say the Japanese have so much weird shit in their culture that it is OK to make fun of them? No and no. And there is plenty of comedy stuff around about goofing on whites, just watch most of the US most famous stand-up comedians. Regardless of race, jokes are only funny when "the joke" is the joke, not when a people, a race or a culture are supposed to be the joke.

  • hutch

    agreed...mostly.

  • hutch

    What's with the notion that everything needs a white-washed version?

  • Leandro

    WTF?

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