In an unsurprising move, The Overheard Press has retracted a feature article on South Korean weightlifter Han Kang. The article, which tastelessly referred to Kang as a “chinaman” was met with a mixture of outrage and confusion from readers.
“Calling anyone a ‘Chinaman’ is incredibly insulting” expressed one middle-aged white woman on Twitter.
“I cannot believe they would use such a racist term” wrote another middle-aged white woman on Facebook.
“This isn’t funny. Making fun of someone’s race isn’t funny,” said a young, white, female instagram user, apparently under the impression that “China” is a race.
No commenters of Asian descent seemed to be offended or concerned by the article.
International Weightlifting Federation, happy to address a controversy not involving performance enhancing drugs, issued the following statement:
“The Overheard Press article was in poor taste. It used a dated, offensive term for a Chinese man to describe Korean weightlifter Han Kang, misidentifying his nationality and insulting asians everywhere.”
“We owe our fans an apology,” said Katherine Williams, a public relations specialist hired by the company to address a now-retracted article claiming CrossFit Games Athlete Brent Fikowksi drinks kitten blood for recovery.
“We are working tirelessly to strike a balance between objective reporting and offensive and erroneous mistakes, and we know we aren’t perfect.
This retraction marks the 9th offensive article to be removed from the company’s platforms this year, already more than in 2016. Overheard Press editor-in-chief Bruce McConkie says he isn’t worried about the uptick in public apologies, but others warn of a systemic problem.
“What do you expect?” Asked one Overheard Press employee, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“The writers room is like a scene from Mad Men- Guys in suits, drinking scotch, smoking, sexually harassing female employees, and throwing around jarring racial slurs like it’s still 1955. This company is going to implode any day now.”
“Just look at the ‘corrected’ headline for this article” the employee added. “Oriental is a way to describe a rug, not a person.”