*Musician Questlove has issued an apology for a series of comments made during an Instragram conversation with his manager Dawn Englehart and “Top Chef” host Padma Lakshmi that make fun of the Japanese accent by swapping “r’s” and “l’s.”
Englehart was with Questlove in Japan when the following exchange with Lakshmi took place on Instragram:
questlove: Hey @dawnenglehart is it racist for me to write the Sour Tlain? #chipanesedownunder2013
dawnenglehart: Nah you’re in The Loots. You’re allowed.
padmalakshmi: Hahahaha ha! You ruys clack me lup
Englehart later replied to angry comments with: “It’s not lacist if it’s taloo [true]” and “padmalakshmi and I get a yellow pass anyway.”
Questlove also posted video of a Japanese woman speaking Japanese with the spoken introduction; “Ladies and gentlemen, they are talking in tongues.”
The posts, as well as the video of the Japanese woman (pictured above) have since been deleted.
The “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” band leader took to his Facebook page on Thursday (Dec. 26) to apologize for the comments, insisting he meant no offense.
He posted: “I’m a human being and dumber yet, i’m a public figure. If you’re lucky enough to be either of the aforementioned, then not only should one stay clear of saying or writing hurtful things, one should actively work against feeling comfortable, thinking hurtful thoughts. Given that black culture consistently finds itself at the butt end of so many offensive ‘outsider’ jokes, I should be way, way more sensitive… I for one, should never allow my cultural bias to take precedence over my ‘examined life’.”
Questlove’s apology comes just days after comedian Steve Martin issued a similar apology for making fun of African American names on Twitter.
When a follower asked him, “Is this how you spell lasonia?,” Martin responded, “It depends. Are you in an African-American neighborhood or at an Italian restaurant?”
Martin deleted the post following angry responses and issued the following apology:
“I am very upset that a tweet I sent out last week has been interpreted by some to be insulting to African Americans. By now media coverage of the unfortunate tweet has only added to this perception. To those who were offended, again, I offer a deep, sincere, and humble apology without reservation.
“Comedy is treacherous. I used to try out jokes in clubs and the audience’s feedback would tell me when I had crossed a line, or how to shape a joke so it is clear. Today, the process is faster. It’s your brain, a button, then millions of reactions. But it’s my job to know.”