October 6, By Tara Law
The creators of the cellphone game “Dirty Chinese Restaurant” canceled the game’s release yesterday after it was slammed by Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) and others for depicting racist stereotypes.
The company, Big-O-Tree brands itself with the slogan “because being politically correct is so boring.” The game depicts a cook serving cats, dogs and garbage to customers with stereotypically Chinese features. The game allows players to bribe an immigration official to shield the staff from deportation.
Big-O-Tree issued an apology and deleted promotional materials for the game from its social media and website.
Grace Meng, who is of Taiwanese descent, was extremely critical of the game in a Facebook post last month.
“This game uses every negative and demeaning stereotype that I have ever come across as a Chinese American,” she wrote. “From the names used for the characters of the game, to the types of food they cook, to the disturbing depiction of their faces, this game epitomizes racism against Asian Americans.”
Big-O-Tree issued an apology on its website.
“We would like to make a sincere and formal apology to the Chinese community and wish to assure them that this game was not created with an intentional interest of inflicting harm or malice against Chinese culture.”
After the game was canceled yesterday, Meng released a statement thanking those who had joined her in condemning the game.
“While I’m pleased that Big-O-Trees Games has decided not to release its racist video game, it is disturbing that something like this would have progressed as far as it did,” Meng said. “I hope this company does not live up to its name in future endeavors.”