Miley Cyrus Slanty-Eyed Photo Offensive But Not Illegal

November 21, 2009


The legal saga of the Miley Cyrus chinky-eyed photo is coming to an end. A judge has tossed a lawsuit filed against Cyrus for posing in the image that's been all over the Internet.

Lucie Kim had sued the Hannah Montana star on behalf of Asian Americans living in Los Angeles County, seeking $4 billion in damages. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Sohigian said that while the photo was offensive, it didn't violate state law protecting citizens from discrimination by businesses.

Kim probably had little chance of winning the suit. But had the trial gone forward, think of all the Asian-bashing witnesses Cyrus could have called on her behalf: Bo Dietl, that "Chinaman" NBA announcer, Spain's national basketball team, just to name a few. I would have been glued to CourtTV. Oh well, the law is the law.


Harry Mok

Editor in chief

Editor in Chief Harry Mok wrote about growing up on a Chinese vegetable farm for the second issue of Hyphen and has been a volunteer editor since 2004. As a board member of the San Francisco and New York chapters of the Asian American Journalists Association, Harry has recruited and organized events for student members. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also a graduate student instructor in the Asian American Studies Department.