“I am issuing this apology. I do not consider this particular case to be another example of cancel culture but a legitimate wrong that was done on my part. MANAA has been very gracious in accepting my apology. I hope that the Asian American community will be able to accept it as well, and I hope I can live up to their expectations in the future.”
In recent months, reports have grown about violence against Asian Americans in communities in California and elsewhere. The recent mass killing of eight people, including six Asian Americans, at various spas in metro Atlanta also spurred calls for a look at hate crimes against the community.
Jokes like ones Leno told during his years on television supported negative perceptions of the community, according to Aoki. Prior to the apology, MANAA had warned that it would boycott Fox Television, which runs the production for Leno’s new show “You Bet Your Life.”
Leno nor Fox would confirm that ultimatum to Variety upon request.