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tenn aussie
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:06 AM
From Jon Wertheim's Mailbag

As a Japanese, I was offended by the following exchange in Sharapova's SF post match interview:

Q: Why do you think you're so popular in Asia? What are the reasons?

SHARAPOVA: In Asia, well, I'm blonde, and when people see someone that's blonde, they go crazy over there.

This sounds racially insensitive by itself, but especially so because she just made millions off of those people by her exhibition tour in Asia, all the while paying lip service like "I love coming here! Fans here are so special!" Her fans think I'm overreacting. Your take?
-- Akiyo, Urayasu, Japan

First, while I'm probably not the ideal person to arbitrate this, big props to Akiyo for opening this to discussion and questioning her interpretation, rather than simply casting aside Sharapova as a bigot. ("Civil discourse fever: catch it!")

Jon Wertheim's take: Sharapova's remarks don't represent the pinnacle of sensitivity. Nothing quite like generalizing about four billion people. On the other hand, she's not really saying anything inherently pejorative. (Had she said, say, "Those Asians, they go crazy for illicit drugs, black market firearms, Rob Schneider movies and the Joan/Melissa Rivers combo," it would be another story.) We should cut her some slack, getting asked this fairly random question right after a Grand Slam loss. Also, the question is a bit leading, especially given the context. Had she responded, "They like me for my tennis," the obvious follow-up: then why don't the three players ranked ahead of you have nearly the same currency?

So someone ought to circle this exchange in the transcript and explain to Sharapova that she could have been more sensitive and thoughtful, especially because this market is so vital to the P/E ratio of Sharapova, Inc. But I think the sackcloth and ashes can remain in the closet. If any of you have a different take, I'm happy to hear it.

-------------------------------------------------------------------

Any comments guys?

IMO, I can't find anything wrong or race-sensitive in what Sharapova said.

SelesFan70
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:11 AM
The person who wrote the question is being way overly sensitive. I hope he/she doesn't burn down an embassy or anything over it. :)

Miranda
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:33 AM
nothing wrong with maria's comments, people are too sensitive

Stamp Paid
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:40 AM
"We dont want war, we just want to make ze clothes."

*loud, random laughter*

Timariot
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:43 AM
Well, many Western men think that Asian women are incredibly hot...I guess I am a racist or sumthing for saying this out loud...

Zauber
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:44 AM
rediculous
we mighy as well not say anything anymore.

cartmancop
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:47 AM
Personally I don't think that is offensive at all... I agree, people are overly sensitive about things today. You can't really say anything w/o offending someone...

Derek.
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:49 AM
I don't see anything wrong with Maria's answer. :)

bellascarlett
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:51 AM
Hmmm I'm thinking Akiyo is from this board...:scratch: :lol:...we had a thread like this a few weeks ago and this topic has been debated already. ;)

switz
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:52 AM
silly generalisation, but i don't look of profound logic in post match interview from Maria.

People need to give her a break for everything she does wrong :lol:

Derek.
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:53 AM
Hmmm I'm thinking Akiyo is from this board...:scratch: :lol:...

I was thinking the same thing. :p

bellascarlett
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:54 AM
I was thinking the same thing. :p

:lol:

dreamgoddess099
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:54 AM
The person who wrote the question is being way overly sensitive. I hope he/she doesn't burn down an embassy or anything over it. :)
I know right, those Japanese are offended so easily. :rolleyes: Just keep "going crazy" for those blondes and buying Sharapova perfume like western white society wants you to and shut up.

crazyroberto6767
Feb 9th, 2006, 02:58 AM
Well to be fair, the person who wrote the question is from Japan, so they have a different perspective then us :shrug:. Personally, I don't find anything offensive about the comment, especially with the clear success of other blondes over there *cough*Paris*cough*.

tenn aussie
Feb 9th, 2006, 03:00 AM
Hmmm I'm thinking Akiyo is from this board...:scratch: :lol:...we had a thread like this a few weeks ago and this topic has been debated already. ;)

I guess you're right. Akiyo is probably not Asian but more like a Masha detractor from the Wtaworld board who just want to diss her.

he, he

morningglory
Feb 9th, 2006, 03:00 AM
It's true.... I guess
well... I'm Asian but not Japanese so whatever....
But Blonde IS the best selling hair dye over here in Thailand...
People prefer the white, blonde, caucasian look here. Really.
You don't see Thai people trying to get tans, that would be just... like weird... :lol:

Dan23
Feb 9th, 2006, 03:09 AM
Maria doesnt have all day to answer questions like that in a press conference after a match anyway. In order to please everyone it would have needed a 5 minute response :rolleyes: :p

RatedR Superstar
Feb 9th, 2006, 03:19 AM
its a trap-question, masha has no chance of getting any good answer with that kind of question

southpaw58
Feb 9th, 2006, 03:21 AM
I am Asian American, and I see the point of being offeneded, she was just offended because Sharapova generalized her opinion that the Japanese have this facination with white, blondes. It is a stereotype and there is some truth, Japan loves western culture and basically western culture is Blond, blonde, blue eyed, white skinned. That's my opinion on it. I don't believe sensitivity levels are race associated but the question asker was offeneded and that was their reaction.

Pureracket
Feb 9th, 2006, 03:32 AM
Let's make sure we don't simply dismiss people when they tell us they're offended by something, especially when it's dealing with race. We have a tendency of systematically minimizing other people's plights when they are different from our own.

bellascarlett
Feb 9th, 2006, 03:43 AM
I guess you're right. Akiyo is probably not Asian but more like a Masha detractor from the Wtaworld board who just want to diss her.

he, he

Ummm...okay whatever you say. I was just having fun...geez... :tape:

LeRoy.
Feb 9th, 2006, 03:51 AM
if this is true its only prevalent in far east asia. South East Asia isn't obsessed w/ everything caucasian they pretty much prefer tanned looks with black hair and dark features :wavey:

RatedR Superstar
Feb 9th, 2006, 03:54 AM
if this is true its only prevalent in far east asia. South East Asia isn't obsessed w/ everything caucasian they pretty much prefer tanned looks with black hair and dark features :wavey:

im from South east asia, and i have to agree with that :lol: we like blondes, specially the japs, they have an obssession with blondes, but mashas answer was kinda insulting, but i cant blame her, its a stupid question anyway

tennisrox
Feb 9th, 2006, 03:56 AM
Where's Marshmallow??

LeRoy.
Feb 9th, 2006, 03:58 AM
im from South east asia, and i have to agree with that :lol: we like blondes, specially the japs, they have an obssession with blondes, but mashas answer was kinda insulting, but i cant blame her, its a stupid question anyway
i guess i was talking about the Indian subcontinent sorry :angel: . They are far too obsessed with Bollywood babes to care too much about white and/or blondes :)

RatedR Superstar
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:02 AM
i guess i was talking about the Indian subcontinent sorry :angel: . They are far too obsessed with Bollywood babes to care too much about white and/or blondes :)

so true :lol: thats why hollywood movies isnt really big in India :D

borisy
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:04 AM
Maybe that comment if made in an innocent way but at the same time I guess Japanese people are bored of being made fun of by the western people all the time. Think about the film "Lost in Translation".

Tennisation
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:08 AM
actually, what Maria says is true, I'm asian myself, but I think Japanese are so stereotypical, I once work at this store and there was a group of Japanese tourists all girls came into the store, and I couldn't distinguish one from the other because they all dyed their hair blonde. I actually think they idolize blondies, I was in HK once as well, and there was this one British guy in Central HK, he was just a tourist and these chinese girls wanted to take pictures with him just because he's white.

moby
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:12 AM
Wrong, but true. :tape:

Mother_Marjorie
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:18 AM
Imagine being Russian, speaking English in an Asian country. Somewhere along the way, the message is lost in the translation.

Just Sayin....

tenn aussie
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:19 AM
I was in HK once as well, and there was this one British guy in Central HK, he was just a tourist and these chinese girls wanted to take pictures with him just because he's white.

Tennis, Hongkong is a former British Colony and was only turned over back to Chinese rule a few years ago. I don't think there's really that much fascination and awe for white people there compared to Japan.

bobcat
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:22 AM
^It sounds like the girls were probably tourists from the mainland, where whites still aren't common except in a few cities.

pcrtennis
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:27 AM
It was an unfair generalization and what makes it more annoying is that Sharapova is probably too stupid to find Japan on a map too...it's just ignorance...

~ The Leopard ~
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:36 AM
More PC grumbling, I see. :)

Dan23
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:39 AM
Where's Marshmallow??
good question...he should be tearing this thread apart by now :(

Dan23
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:41 AM
It was an unfair generalization and what makes it more annoying is that Sharapova is probably too stupid to find Japan on a map too...it's just ignorance...
:rolleyes:
Im willing to bet Maria's more intelligent than you

ezekiel
Feb 9th, 2006, 04:54 AM
It doesn't seem to be offensive or intended as such but it certainly can be described as shallow and rather dumb thus better left unsaid. But that's just Maria being Maria.
Now just imagine, if some japanese person said that reason why people buy their electronics and cars is because they are smarter? I would find that offensive :p

SAEKeithSerena
Feb 9th, 2006, 05:34 AM
there was absolutely nothing wrong with that comment. especially from an 18 year old.

bellascarlett
Feb 9th, 2006, 05:37 AM
good question...he should be tearing this thread apart by now :(

:rolls:


hey dan, who's that in your avatar?

bellascarlett
Feb 9th, 2006, 05:39 AM
there was absolutely nothing wrong with that comment. especially from an 18 year old.

:wavey: I dunno your first name but surely you are surprising me everyday....:tape:

@m@nd@
Feb 9th, 2006, 05:59 AM
well, shes only telling the truth :p

Dan23
Feb 9th, 2006, 06:54 AM
:rolls:


hey dan, who's that in your avatar?
Maria :p

bellascarlett
Feb 9th, 2006, 07:34 AM
Maria :p

:lol: It was a different one a while ago... :o

Edward.
Feb 9th, 2006, 07:43 AM
Hmmm I'm thinking Akiyo is from this board...:scratch: :lol:...we had a thread like this a few weeks ago and this topic has been debated already. ;)

Yeah.

I get the impression "Ayiko" is Marshmallows alter ego.