Amid all the allegations of sexual harassment and assault women have been making against men in powerful positions these past few weeks comes one woman's accusation of racism against a man more than 20 years her senior. On Monday, actor/comedian/writer Charlyne Yi, 31, tweeted that the first time she met comedian David Cross, 53, he made fun of her "tattered" pants and mockingly asked her if she spoke English, saying "Ching-chong-ching-chong."
She went on to write that after he saw how "offended" she was at his remarks, he put on a Southern accent and jokingly asked if she was going to fight him with karate. Cut to a few years later, when Cross was re-introduced to Yi after one of her comedy shows, and simply said, "Hi, nice to meet you."
When one woman on Twitter replied, "Oh my God," to Yi's tweets, Yi explained that her allegedly racist encounter with Cross was the reason she didn't want to meet Cross at Girlfest.
In another tweet about the incident, which allegedly happened 10 years ago, Yi clarified that she "can tell the difference between this man making a joke vs. condescending [sic] me."
Yi continued, writing that it's "very uncool" that a man over 40 was being racist to a woman 20 years younger than him "who was clearly on the verge of tears from his first racist comment."
In response to these allegations, David Cross tweeted on Tuesday, "This seems crazy and WAY out of character for me." He added that he was buying teething gel for his baby (with wife, actor/poet Amber Tamblyn) but would investigate the situation as soon as he got home.
He then tweeted to Yi, "i don't remember this at all! It's bonkers to me and WAY, way out of character." He asked her to DM (direct message) so he could "understand all of this."
Cross tweeted that he reached out to other who were present when he first met Yi to see if they remembered anything. He also wrote a statement and posted it to Twitter.
The statement reads,
A note to any and all. This accusation from Charlyne took me by surprised [sic] and was deeply upsetting. I would never intentionally hurt someone like that. I do not remember doing this when I met her. I do not remember doing this when I met her. I do remember meeting her though. She was the then girlfriend of a good friend of mine and we were about to start working on a movie together. I am NOT accusing Charlene [sic] of lying and I'm truly sorry if I hurt her, it was never my intention to do that. I do not remember it like she she remembers it (and clearly we're quite a bit far apart on this) but I reached out to her privately and expressed that and more, including the possibility that perhaps we are both misremembering *exactly* what happened that night? Anyway, I can't believe I have to write this but I am not a racist nor a bully and loathe them in real life. #Rashomon.