Back in April we saw legendary Japanese singer Gackt face discrimination while abroad in France . He managed to handle a frustrating situation with class, and his incident sparked a conversation online about racial discrimination.
Emiko Kaminuma, a well-known Japanese media personality, found herself in a similar spot while in France. She faced discrimination in a Paris restaurant, and she has been making a huge deal about it on her TV shows. However, her story seems to be a little different from Gackt’s….
Kaminuma is a Japanese comedian from Osaka, best known for her TV show Kaminuma Emiko no Oshaberi Cooking (“Cooking and Chatting with Emiko Kaminuma”).
If you want to see what kind of laughs it serves up, here’s a clip from an episode:
▼ I think this guy’s expression just about sums it up.
That’s not Kaminuma’s only show, either. She also acts as co-host of the gossip talk show Ueda-Takada no Kugizuke! (“Ueda and Takada’s Headlines!”).
On July 5, Kaminuma talked about how she felt she had been discriminated against while in Paris, just like Gackt. Here’s what she had to say:
“There’re a lot of people who discriminate in Paris. My husband and I were at a restaurant off Champs-Elysees ready to order, so I put my hand in the air and said ‘Excuse me!’ Some of the staff made eye contact with me, but none of them came over.
I waited like that and kept calling for 40 minutes. Finally I told my husband ‘Let’s get out of here,’ but he said, ‘Come on, let’s wait.’ I told him I’d had enough of waiting; I’d been doing it for 40 minutes! One waiter had looked at me several times. That’s discrimination. For sure, that was discrimination.”
Kaminuma also claims that while she and her husband were waiting for 40 minutes, the staff served Caucasian customers who had come in after them. She also says that she left the restaurant in a huff, being sure to make loud noises to make herself feel better.
Now, her story is a little different from Gackt’s. Gackt confronted the manager, made his case, and then left on his own terms with the understanding that there’s no point in getting angry – just do what you can to not stand for such nonsense.
Kaminuma on the other hand says she sat for forty minutes with her hand in the air, only saying “Excuse me.” Now she’s probably not as fluent in French as Gackt and there might have been other things going on as well, but that hasn’t stopped Japanese netizens from criticizing her instead of showing support like they did for Gackt:
▼ “You hear about this a lot, but it’s not discrimination. At high-class restaurants, it’s just simply rude to call a waiter over by putting your hand in the air.”
上沼恵美子 パリで受けた差別体験告白「確実に分かった」 headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a 「レストランで、すいませーんって手を上げて、目が合っているのに絶対注文とりに来なかった」。よくある話だけど、差別とは違うような。高級店なら、手を上げて店員を呼ぶのは失礼でしょ。
numida meleagri (@numida_meleagri) July 06, 2015
▼ “I think she should have instead said: ‘For sure, this shows I am given preferential treatment while in Japan.’”
これ、「日本であたしが優遇されてるのが確実に分かった」でシメたら良かったのにねえ。【上沼恵美子 パリで受けた差別体験告白「確実に分かった」】 headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20150705-…
白央篤司 (@hakuo416) July 06, 2015
▼ “You can’t call them over by putting your hand in the air. To them, that’s you trying to show that you’re superior to them. They’re the ones who feel discriminated against. I wouldn’t want customers doing that at my restaurant. It’s obvious.”
(@FRCSRJP) July 06, 2015
“What will you have us do as retribution, Queen of Osaka?”
“You make your living off of complaining about people, that’s why everyone is so accommodating to you in Japan.”
“I think I’d ignore someone too if they were waving their hands in the air and yelling ‘Excuse me!’ for 40 minutes.”
So what do you think? Is this a legitimate case of racial discrimination? Let us know in the comments!
Source: livedoor NEWS , AKB48mato
Featured/top image: Flickr (James Whitesmith)