Tuesday, February 06, 2007

A Little Dishing from the FertilityBitch: Meg Ryan

Apropos of celebrity adoptions being all the rage, here's a take on Meg Ryan, whose previous egregious anti-Asian behavior now makes it such a thorn in my eye that she adopted a child from China!

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Take our fun flag quiz!!!




[n.b. this is an old post I wrote when I was blogging for Adoption.com--thank ya to the Worsted Witch for reminding me to repost this]

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Okay, for those souls too busy watching the Olympics to be obsessed with Celebrity Fertility, I will update you: the actress Meg Ryan has adopted a baby girl from China. Get it here, from none other than the BBC: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4653752.stm

I find this exceedingly ironic given the flap that I was privy to while in Korea. East Asia, as you may or may not know, is a big repository for celebrity shills, people who are above "tainting" themselves with overexposure here, but gladly push all sorts of bizarre products in Asia because 1. they get paid a lot and 2. no one's going to see the ads. This was sort of the bummed out, lower-than-low situation Bill Murray found himself in the movie Lost in Translation as a former star now sunk to touting some whiskey he doesn't even drink and in the meantime loathing himself for falling this low, loathing the Japanese people who were now providing his living.

The people I saw most regularly in ads were Sly Stallone, Brooke Shields, and Meg Ryan. Koreans loooooooove Meg Ryan because she is "cute." And the strange product she endorsed and most likely never used was a soap called Sexy-Mild. The ads, print and TV, were everywhere. I can't remember the exact details of the imbrogilio as it was over ten years ago, but I think she was on Letterman or some other TV talk show back in the good ol' US of A, and the host, justifiably, was needling her a little for being such an overseas shill, and she said something to the effect of (and I paraphrase), "Well, if the people in China or Japan or whatever are so dumb they buy the products just because my face is on it, that's their problem. Plus, it smells bad in China." At least, this is how my Korean colleagues (many of whom have excellent English comprehension skills) recounted it to me.

She obviously must have forgotten that there's AFKN (Armed Forces Korea Network) in Korea, which pipes in American TV for the GIs, but is accessible by anyone. Soon the entire Korean nation was in an uproar over her words. Everyone was hopping mad! She might have made the smelly comment after that; I can't remember, but I do remember it took a few combative news cycles before she realized her advertising image was at stake and she eventually released an apologetic video.

The last celebrity flap like this that I can remember (much milder, actually) was when Kathie Lee Gifford was so upset when she was denied a baby from China because she and her husband's ages added together exceeded 100 (you do the math!)

Anyway, I wish Meg Ryan luck and she could still redeem herself in my Korean American eyes by taking the flag quiz, at the top.

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8 comments:

~elise said...

i was just discussing this with someone. I read a few of the blogs by people in China adopting and one threw me into a tizzy (ok a few have done that!) as the new parents discuss on the blog how terrible China is and how terrible the baby's life was before and, get this one, how the food looks like "road kill"! (no I didn't make that one up!) So how do you explain to your kid, "you are from China, a great nation with a rich history, but their food looks like road kill and they still eat it!"
Yowza! sometimes i don't get it.

~elise (waiting eagerly for our referral of baby #3 ...from China...hopefully april or may!)

Green Fertility Marie said...

Yes, I wish comments like that would immediately disqualify one from adopting 4-ever!!! Instead people are worried about very inconsequential things, such as if the parents are gay or overweight!!!

Anonymous said...

I got the bottom two flags, sorry, the top two had me stumped until I googled them.

It's sad that Meg had to be such an idiot on t.v. and then go ahead and adopt from a country that she was such an ignoramus about!

In regard to "smelling bad" - that's one of those bigotted or culturalist things that one culture always seems to say about another culture. Someone at work the other day starting speaking about how "black people smell bad". Since I have a masters degree in multicultural education I had a lot to pull out in regard to that! I told her that coming from an article that I read about multicultural attitudes, african americans think that white people smell like "wet dogs" and asians tend to think westerners have horrible body odor due to all the dairy and meat that we eat. I think she was shocked that she might actually stink to someone else!

Ali

Green Fertility Marie said...

aarghhhhh... please disqualify these people (Joe Biden?) from having children or adopting, as well.

Anonymous said...

But wait, Joe Biden was only giving Obama a compliment, right? Can you believe the way he tried to wiggle out of that one?

Ali

Anonymous said...

Here's an unpopular opionion on this, but I think that not all off the cuff comments need be taken as racist. And not all celebrities should be attacked for adopting.

Plenty of ordinary folks adopt without having to have the whole world analyze every past, potentially racist comment they made. Personally, I think New York smells, but it doesn't mean I hate New Yorkers. And yeah, I think China smells too.

And, if I was in Asia plugging some stupid product to make money, I'd probably think the same thing. Well, if the peole are dumb enough to fall for this. Actually, I'd think that about Americans too, so what's the big deal. I don't think she was saying Asians were dumb, just that anyone who falls for silly ads does so by their own choice.
Oh, and regarding your old post on Madonna, where you suggested she give the dad money instead of taking the kid. She's made it very clear that she offered to do just that and the dad was in the end willing to let the kid go.

Green Fertility Marie said...

>And, if I was in Asia plugging some >stupid product to make money, I'd >probably think the same thing. Well, if the peole are dumb enough to fall >for this.

Oops, some writer I am. Actually the *subtle* point I was trying to make was not about the lemmiinglike buying of stuff (which my indeed occur) but that Meg's all "those people in China and Japan" when she'd filming the freakin' commercials in KOREA. Reminds me of those kids who always called me "chink" or "jap"--never occurred to them I was Korean, etc.

Anonymous said...

I don't think saying China smells bad is either a bigot or a culturalist. It's true. I've been there. There are zero emissions controls on their manufacturing plants, and wherever you are, the air is tainted with the smell of whatever they are making in that region, be it plastics, or chemicals, or rubber. It was very polluted and dirty and yes, it smelled BAD ! And I also have adopted from China so I'm not anti-Asian in the least, it's just the truth !