Questlove Apologizes to Japanese Community for Instagram Posts

Akoto Ofori-Atta
Questlove arrives at the Staples Center for the 54th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles.

Questlove has issued an apology for some insensitive social media posts from his recent tour of Japan.

This picture, which has since been deleted, pokes fun at a Japanese department store clerk's voice:


He also posted this Vine video, in which he inverts letters in a caption that appears to mock Japanese accents: reports:

In his apology originally posted on Okayplayer yesterday (December 26th), ?uestlove explains that he was merely comparing the Japanese woman’s vocal tones “to that of a (church) deacon speaking in tongues.” However, there were multiple instances of Questlove stereotypically replacing the l’s with r’s when describing a few Japanese people and places he encountered.

Questlove posted an apology on Facebook. Read it below:

ok. addressing the elephant in the room on christmas

unfortunately, i’ve offended my asian brothers & sisters with an IG post which i made during my recent tour of japan. in that post, i likened a japanese department storeemployee’s vocal intonation to that of a (church) deacon speaking in tongues. clearly, i didn’t intend to offend anyone (asian or otherwise), clearly, i *thought* that comparison was funny-cute

… and clearly i thought wrong.

in hindsight, it’s easy to see how my post was yet another example of the ugly, american flipping yet another ugly/racially/culturally insensitive script. so, let me make this abundantly clear….


And no, it wasn’t Duck Dynasty/Phil Robertson mean spirited-xenophobic dumb (but the last time i checked, sleep was still the cousin of death)

—look. i’m a human being and dumber yet, i’m a public figure. if you’re lucky enough to be either of the aforementioned, then not only should one stay clear of saying or writing hurtful things, one should actively work against feeling comfortable, thinking hurtful thoughts. given that black culture consistently finds itself at the butt end of so many offensive “outsider” jokes, I should be way, way more sensitive (after all, who’s zooming who). I for one, should never allow my cultural bias to take precedence over my “examined life” (clunkers be damned). i know the whole kinder and gentler thing reeks of a self serving political correctness, but eff it, it’s “all me”.

so, here i am once again, publicly coming to terms with some more of my stupid “say, say, say” ish. allow me to ask for forgiveness and understanding from anyone that i’ve offended. I will be better in 2014 (i promise)

-thank you.


Akoto Ofori-Atta is the editor of The Grapevine. Like her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter.


If you want to see what's hot on black Twitter, check out The Chatterati.Akoto Ofori-Atta is the editor of The Grapevine. Like her Facebook page and follow her on Twitter. 

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