Adidas Yellow Series Not So Nice to Asians.


Our Asian cultural expert Tian tells us Adidas should expect a bit of backlash from the Asian community in reaction to a newly introduced line of sneakers called the Yellow Series. One particular shoe has the image of a buck-toothed bowlcut slanty eyed face on the shoe's tongue - not exactly the currently acceptable rendition of the Asian populace.

by Steve Hall    Mar-13-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Bad, Brands, Trends and Culture   

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google barry mcgee

Posted by: ryan on March 13, 2006 8:46 PM

so because barry mcgee seems to be of asian american descent, it's okay to use stereotypical imagery?
if, say, p diddy released a line of clothing with shuckin' and jivin' blackface characters, would that be so readily accepted?
adidas knows better.

Posted by: swisher59 on March 14, 2006 11:20 AM

Swisher, McGee is a world renowned artist and that is one of his characters. And yes by being Asian he is certainly allowed to subvert the traditional or racist images and reapproiate them for his own use. I see nothing wrong with it. It's very similair to black people calling each other $iggas. I see nothing wrong with it. And Kudos to Adidas to A. actually doing somethig cool (have you seen their ad campaigns of recent?) B. letting the art be art.

Posted by: Bucky da ANIMAL on March 14, 2006 1:39 PM

thats funny nobody seems to care when its a white hillbilly hanging out of a truck on a shirt in the t-shirt place in the mall... or a cartoon of a suburbian yuppy or urban youth... but GOD FORBID anyone put a cartoon of an asian on something...

i bet nobody would care if it was a cartoon of an asian with gucci bags getting out of a mercedes

its a sence of humor people... get one

the only reason its an issue is becuase people take things too seriously... OMG I KNOW LETS SUE... IT WILL BE FUN... then it will hit the news with a headline ADIDAS DOEST CARE ABOUT ASIAN PEOPLE

Posted by: reality check on March 14, 2006 2:55 PM

Bucky- is that really one of McGee's images? If so, I'm not sure how McGee's outspoken criticism of advertising's ubiquitous slathering of images in public spaces is reconciled with his own artwork being stamped on Adidas (to be slathered ubiquitously in public places) is reconciled...but whatever. It's Art, man (right?).

Posted by: woodenlunch on March 14, 2006 3:16 PM

I think there is some truth in the argument that members of ethnic groups should be allowed to subvert the stereotypes that are applied to them (so, in reality check's analysis, white people should be allowed to depict inbred Billybobs who appear to a chorus of fiercely plucked banjos).

As an example, here are some images from yesterday's protests against Prime Minister Thaksin in Bangkok:

Posted by: Tim Footman on March 14, 2006 7:51 PM

the person hu sed summit about "Adidas doesnt care about asian people" obviously is white with nothing to do....

Posted by: Justin on March 31, 2006 10:22 AM

Lets call a waaaambulance for the Asians. Oh noes! stereotypical imagery. No one ever does this to whites (see dave chappelle skits, or white girls the movie staring the wayans bro's).

Posted by: Realionaire on March 31, 2006 7:20 PM

I can't even begin to understand the rationale behind these people who are accusing the shoe of being racist.

It seems like more of just the small radical minority Asian groups who are bringing up the subject....the majority of Asians, I definitely believe, don't give a rat's ass. I know I don't.

Bottom line, I don't think a shoe is going to harm anybody. The only harm done will be by self-righteous groups who try to protest against the shoe, who honestly could be spending their time doing more useful things, like I dunno, helping the community.

For those wanting to make a comparison to this shoe and to the racism against African Americans in the US in the 1960's, that's like comparing a sheep to a wolf. the Jim Crow laws and other forms of subjugation were meant to intentionally oppress and otherwise classify a whole race of people as second class; I don't think this shoe even comes close to doing the same for Asians. Some people just blow this stuff way out of proportion unecessarily.

and please, if you're asian, and you're somehow "offended" by the artwork on this shoe: slap yourself, get up off your racial high horse, and go do something useful. Someone draws a shoe with an Asian on it, and all of a sudden you're the poster boy (or girl) for Asian rights? give me a break.

I'm a full-blooded Vietnamese, by the way, and yes I am hoping to get my hands on this shoe

Posted by: VinnieRockwell on April 1, 2006 1:36 AM

Art... my ass. The picture being on a pair of Adidas shoes is all about money and making money off of a stereotype that sorry to say- just isn't funny anymore. If you think it's funny and buy the shoes, good for Adidas because Adidas has your money in their pockets and the last laugh.

Oh and about everyone's ranting about how people who care about these issues are just a radical minority with nothing to do, then why don't you think about why you want to be so apathetic about the world around you. No one will force you to think a certain way so don't critize others for their beliefs. Is it really radical to want to be protrayed like humans rather than exaggerated deformed cartoons?

Plus, it's those radical minorities who make the big popular movements when "real" issues of racism comes along. It's easy to just sit back and go along for the ride but it takes balls to go out there and fight for what you believe in. So before you critize those who don't want to accept things because it's the way of life, realize that they are the ones fighting the necessary battles that no one else wants to.

Posted by: Cindy on April 7, 2006 3:11 PM

Hey Cindy, why don't YOU join the Army and see how it is too fight for Your country huh! All those radicals "don't have anything better to do" with their time, except to 'cry' about what this country should do instead of what they are doing about things now. So take some balls & eat it too eh!!!

Posted by: Cindy Hater on April 10, 2006 5:26 PM

Hey Cindy, why don't YOU join the Army and see how it is too fight for Your country to see how "it really is" huh! All those radicals "don't have anything better to do" with their extra time, except to 'cry' about stop wars and don't wear fur. Your Ass should be put in that (other) man's shoes for once. So take some balls & eat it too eh!!!

Posted by: Cindy Hater on April 10, 2006 5:30 PM

Well the Asians are obviously way out of line for being sensitive about this.

I'm sure when Adidas comes out with their Little Black Sambo edition next quarter that the black community will be A-Okay with that. Right?

To be followed by the dago and mojado editions? And maybe get something in there for hillbillies and indians too?

Adidas is nuts: "What were they thinking"?

Posted by: david r. on April 14, 2006 4:34 AM

What's the big deal with the image on the Adidas shoes? Why is it automatically taken as negative? Did Adidas say it was a depicture of an Asian person anyway? If so, did they say they were making fun of Asians? Why aren't the Asians happy to be on a shoe?

Posted by: Christy on April 14, 2006 5:44 PM

I would agree... let art be art.

But art has meaning, corporate logos don't.

Anyone who sees a logo doesn't think,
"Oh, that corporation is using free speech," or
"I see the social commentary."

It's a mass produced drawing seen only with face value.
Things like these change public perception at such an incremental rate that outcry seems stupid and out of place.
So where do you draw the line?

If nothing else, think about which continent has the most people.
I would hate to have this situation bite someone else in the butt.

Posted by: ec on April 15, 2006 6:55 PM

Ok well, to those who say Asians should stop being so sensitive, why cant addias make a couple of other shoes with stereotypical images of blacks, whites, latino and native americans? This is all for equality right?

Its also the fact that they're calling this the "yellow series" umm, implying that Asians are nasty/ugly and cant be taken seriously much?

If you're Asian and you dont give a shit, then you've probably never been in the real world, where people are IGNORANT and DO base you on stupid stereotypes. You've never known what it feels like to be considered a joke. And this is what it is again. When an Asian gets pissed off, screw him, he's Asian, wtf do they have to be pissed off at? They dont need no damn rights. We can blow them off cause they aren't a surpressed/repressed/discriminated against group! No they just arent! And because I'm: A. White (I'm ignorant, you guys have got it made!) B. Asian (washed up, and dont know my own people's damn history in the US!) C. Black (We're more important than you are, and we're also ignorant and washed up!)

Bunch of dumbfucks. Have a nice day.

Posted by: Linh on August 10, 2006 1:16 AM