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'Licorice Pizza' Movie Faces Backlash for Scenes with Fake Asian Accent

'Licorice Pizza' Movie Faces Backlash for Scenes with Fake Asian Accent

The new movie Licorice Pizza is facing backlash for scenes in which a white male character speaks with an offensive fake Asian accent.

The film was written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the eight-time Oscar-nominated filmmaker behind movies like Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood, The Master, Inherent Vice, and Phantom Thread.

Licorice Pizza is the story of Alana Kane (Alana Haim) and Gary Valentine (Cooper Hoffman) growing up, running around and falling in love in the San Fernando Valley, 1973. The film tracks the treacherous navigation of first love.

Click inside to find out what happens in the controversial scenes…

In the movie, Pitch Perfect actor John Michael Higgins plays a restauranteur who owns an establishment with his Japanese wife. He speaks to her with a fake Asian accent that is being called out as racist. The character appears a second time, this time with a second Japanese woman and he repeats the fake accent with her.

David Chen, the host of podcast “Culturally Relevant,” tweeted, “Picture this: You’re watching LICORICE PIZZA. It’s brilliant. Then, early on, a buffoonish character drops an Asian caricature. The (mostly white) audience laughs. And now, you gotta think about that laughter the rest of the film. Did you picture it? Because it f–king sucks.”

Director and screenwriter Karen Maine tweeted, “I saw #LicoricePizza over a week ago and it’s taken me this long to process it. There’s an incredibly racist, seemingly pointless (other than a cheap laugh, which it got at the screening I was at) scene that mocks Asian accents.”

Read more tweets below…

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