Eight-year-old Estie Kung deserved better than a misfired bad joke at the Oscars and the following recriminations about the ongoing saga of the Whiteness of Hollywood. Kung and the two boys with her are not props for stereotypes about Asian Americans or post-Oscars symbols of injustice. They are children who were mistreated by the supposed adults of the entertainment industry.
Estie Kung has her own shining personality, unrecognized in the cardboard cutout of her as an accountant in the award show joke. She is a charming cooking prodigy who has competed in the “Man vs Child: Chef Showdown” show and has held her own, as seen on this video:
How should the entertainment industry portray the humanity of children like Estie Kung without losing entertainment value? Late night host James Corden shows how to do it right, with due respect to Estie’s identity and ability but without missing out on the humor:
- [Quartz] The mom of one of the kids in Chris Rock’s Oscars joke: “This was not OK.”: “It was simply a racist gag feeding on persistent stereotypes and involving the children on stage in a joke about child labor in Asia.” Read more
- [South China Morning Post] Estie Kung, 8-year-old TV chef who’ll have you eating out of her hand: “I’m most proud of my Tournedos Rossini, which is a brioche crouton with a filet mignon on top. On the very top there is some foie gras, shaved truffle and also a nice brown sauce.” Read more
- [Young Parents] Kid Chef Estie Kung is Only Eight Years Old: “She still hopes to improve her skills and master the art of cutting sushi.”It’s like ripping a piece of paper completely straight in half. It’s that hard,” she says.” Read more
- [FYI] Man Vs Child: Chef Showdown: “This motivated Girl Scout will do what it takes to compete against the adults in the competition.” Read more