Written by Wéchec González, CNN
Wanya’s Pizza in California is being criticized by Asian Americans for a pizza treat featuring flavors of the Asian diaspora.
A fake profile of an Asian woman, Lil Lin-O-Tre , tweeted that the pizza’s owners used “fake Asian food voices” for her to talk to her friends, according to a screenshot captured by AJ+ . The user also posted screenshots from a YouTube video titled “The Ultimate Mario/Licorice Pizza.”
In the video, actors pretend to be “Asian foodies,” while wearing fake Asian accents. The fake Lil Lin-O-Tre says it tastes like “jalapeños and taro and taro and taro and taro.”
When asked about the controversy, owner Wanya Wong told HLN on Thursday that she doesn’t care what others think of her.
“I don’t care if someone thinks it’s racist, I have to do what I have to do to make my family proud,” she said.
“I didn’t grow up in America, I grew up in the East Bay, a little bit of Northern California where all the Vietnamese, Chinese and Filipinos live together,” she added. “You are just a few blocks from where it all started.”
“I respect everybody’s opinions, I don’t care about other people’s opinion because the one thing I know is everybody’s opinion is your opinion. People on the outside can’t change you, and that’s what it’s all about. If you love what you do and you care about your family, I’m going to make sure you do it,” she said.
Wong declined to comment on the authenticity of the videos, noting “the videos are made by people on YouTube — it’s none of my business.”
Representatives for the ad agency that created the campaign, Ole, didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.
Lil Lin-O-Tre posted a follow-up on Twitter, saying the racist attacks from her “community” are misguided.
“What u hear is a Filipino martial arts veteran who doesn’t take crap from no one whatsoever,” she said. “It’s a hoe’s voice also, but it ain’t no racist hoe’s voice. You guys will all just ask me to shut up and smile, and if u don’t shut up and smile, u’ll all get kicked out by my friends because I don’t tolerate hate.”