March 25, 2021 – Jay Leno is apologizing for decades of jokes he’s made at the expense of Asian people. The comedian recently met with the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA) to discuss how his past comments have been harmful to the Asian community.
Leno said in a statement that, when he made these jokes, he:
“genuinely thought them to be harmless. At the time, there was a prevailing attitude that some group is always complaining about something, so don’t worry about it. Whenever we received a complaint, there would be two sides to the discussion: Either ‘We need to deal with this’ or ‘Screw ‘em if they can’t take a joke.’ “
But the comedian says he now regrets making these jokes.
“Too many times I sided with the latter even when in my heart I knew it was wrong. That is why 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.”
“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,” he added.