“The Herald should recognize the harmful impact of using racially charged images and take responsibility"
Boston Magazine reports that The Boston Herald has upset Asian Americans with its ‘Wok Tall’ cover.
For its Thursday issue, the daily American newspaper used a photoshopped image of Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker standing in a Chinese takeout box of fried rice.
A fortune cookie is also shown reading “taxpayers will not be happy” is seen by the box and the headline reads “Wok Tall”.
The image related to the newspaper’s story that focused on the lack of transparency in the governor’s office. In one story, Herald senior editor Joe Dwinell and Herald reporter Mary Markos wrote about a Chinese takeout order House Speaker Robert DeLeo made for Beacon Hill staffers that cost taxpayers $4,000.
Michelle Wu, the first Asian-American woman to serve on Boston’s city council, said the image was “offensive and irresponsible”.
“The Herald should recognize the harmful impact of using racially charged images and take responsibility, especially because for children of color, every mockery can create anxiety and undermine what all our kids deserve—to feel that they truly belong in this country and community they call home,” she said in a statement posted to her social media.
Wu also revealed that she had “direct conversations” with Dwinell and Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca about the image. The Herald editors reportedly “expressed an understanding of the importance of words and images.”
“The front page was purely a reference to Chinese food,” Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca said, in a follow-up story written by Dwinell. “But when a concern is raised that the words or images we use are hurtful, we do need to listen and apologize.”
— Michelle Wu 吳弭 (@wutrain) August 1, 2019