On October 16, during a time when numerous women are coming forward with stories of harassment and abuse at the hands of men, comic and actress Charlyne Yi tweeted allegations of having received racist insults from comedian David Cross. As Yi tells it, the incident in question dates back10 years and begins with Cross leaving her speechless after making fun of her clothing.
Cross, perhaps best known for his role in Arrested Development and his successful stand-up career, is then alleged to have seized on this and said: ‘What’s a matter? You don’t speak English?? Ching-chong-ching-chong’.” Yi continued, “Then after he saw I was offended he asked me if I was going to fight with him karate in a southern accent.”
Yi has appeared in House as well as films including Scott Pilgrim vs The World and This Is 40. See her tweets below.
I think about the first time I met David Cross ten years ago & he made fun of my pants (that were tattered because I was poor). Dumbfounded I stared at him speechless and he said to me "what's a matter? You don't speak English?? Ching-chong-ching-chong".— Charlyne Yi (@charlyne_yi) October 16, 2017
Then after he saw I was offended he asked me if I was going to fight with him karate in a southern accent. Then a few years later he was re-introduced to me after my comedy show with his girlfriend at the time & he said "Hi nice to meet you".— Charlyne Yi (@charlyne_yi) October 16, 2017
I will say this:— Charlyne Yi (@charlyne_yi) October 16, 2017
-I can tell the difference between this man making a joke vs condescending me.
-This happened 10 years ago and I sure as hell hope he's changed (or at the very least, he's scared enough to not be his racist self).
HOWEVER it is very uncool that a 40+ man was being racist towards me, being a young 20 year old woman who was clearly on the verge of tears from his first racist comment.— Charlyne Yi (@charlyne_yi) October 16, 2017
Cross has responded and said he does not remember Yi's recollection happening. He suggested that both he and Yi are "perhaps both misremembering *exactly* what happened that night." He ended his statement with “I can’t believe I have to write this but I am not a racist nor a bully and loathe them in real life.”
A representative for Cross was not immediately available.