Philadelphia Newspaper Calls Asians “Chinky Winky” and “Dinky Doo”

Publisher Jimmy Tayoun says it’s a “proofreading error.”


UPDATE 8/25 1:10 pm: The newspaper editor responsible for the Asian slurs has been fired. For the full story, go here.


In the August 21st print edition of the Philadelphia Public Record, the free weekly tabloid published by former Philadelphia City Councilman turned federal inmate Jimmy Tayoun Sr., current Philadelphia City Councilman Mark Squilla is pictured at an event in Chinatown with, among others, "Chinky Winky," "Me Too," and "Dinky Doo."

"It was a proofreading error," Tayoun told Philadelphia magazine on Friday afternoon. According to Tayoun, the editor who used those names did so because he didn't have the actual names. When we pointed out to Tayoun that there were actually more names than there were people, he reiterated, "It was a proofreading error." And when we asked why the editor didn't use a generic placeholder instead of an ethnic slur, he insisted that there's no prejudice or bigotry involved here.

"That editor is a Britisher," Tayoun explained, puzzlingly. "He didn't mean anything by it. The Public Record is the most inclusive publication in Philadelphia."

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  • DK

    Wow are you kidding me? What would this guy write if this was a photo of Squila hosted by the Black community and forgot their names? There would be a Ferguson-esque riot in Philly. Dont let these guys get off easy. Unbelievable.

    • phillydiva

      Really?? Please don’t insult the black community by implying that riots would occur over the insults of an ignorant bigot. Yes there’d be anger and some protest but a riot is a stretch. Please don’t contribute to the negative stereotypes. Not everyone is looking for an excuse for bad behavior. Thank you.

    • LoveasLove

      I don’t recall a single riot by black people that was the result of a racist slur in a newspaper. I do recall riots that result from hangings by whites and homicides of black people by police!

  • Doanh K. Nghiem

    Every print issue of this paper I see can go into the recycling bin. Tired of scum spreading ignorance in our city with no regard for the consequences. “Fundraiser fro” is a proofreading error. The rest is hate speech. Take accountability and issue a real apology.

    • Alex C

      Email the the editor and tell him that.

      PHILADELPHIA, PA 19147
      Tel: 215-755-2000 Fax: 215-689-4099

  • Alex C

    Email or write to the Philadelphia public record and express that the Asian American community will not tolerate this kind of ignorance and bigotry whether they did it “on purpose” or not!

    Tel: 215-755-2000 Fax: 215-689-4099

  • jchastn

    i think that its Cambodian or Vietnamese.

    • “Russian Guyovich”

      It’s Vietnamese. A google result returned a bunch of Vietnamese people and places.

      People like “Jack Meoff” (classy guy) are why my parents opted to name me Anthony at birth instead of a traditional name.

      • Doanh K. Nghiem

        Some people will never evolve.

  • John

    It’s Vietnamese. There are plenty of vowels. If you want to be insulting, then at least make sense dipshit.

  • Truth

    Bet this wouldn’t have happened if the people sitting with the Councilman were of another race.

  • Stephanie Utterly

    Skip the “Editors” email and just contact the guy himself. Jimmy Tayoun works out of a converted row home on South Broad and pretending this was a “staff’ error is ridiculous. This is a 2 or 3 person shop at best. Here’s his email:

    • Presbyton

      They have at least four people.

      • The Real Richard Cranium

        Does the Waffleman still write for them?

        • Presbyton


  • Michele G Rogers

    If you’re going to be a bigoted ass, at least admit to it. Like anyone would buy that these are editing errors. Like third graders caught passing a note about hating the teacher, “oh, I didn’t write that.” Sad & despicable.

  • thenewoldschool

    Pennsylvania – the Florida of the northeast.

  • Janice Rael

    Why wouldn’t the placeholders just say “3rd from right, 2nd from right, far right” to indicate which people needed to be named? Oh, maybe this wasn’t really a proofreading error at all. things that make ya go HMMM

  • paul tqm

    Do not email. Write a physical letter to the paper to the representative of the ACLU and to the reporter. Email too easy to delete. You want them swimming in letters

  • rabbit23

    if you’re offended, don’t waste your time telling Tayoun – he’s been doing this for decades and will never change. Instead focus your efforts on Sheriff Jewell Williams, Dem. Chairman Bob Brady, Council President Clark and City Commissioner Chair Anthony Clark – and your local Councilman and Senator – as their advertising dollars are the only things keeping this rag afloat. its given out for free, and it makes all of its money off public notices for city agencies that no one reads anymore because they know about something called the internet.

    • Presbyton

      Don’t forget about the Register of Wills, Donatucci.

  • RT

    Did I say something right? My comment of this “proofread error” is of an evil agenda from Hell that stir hate, misinformation, and bait discrimination got deleted!!

  • Believable

    What do you expect from his gabage? Have and will always be a disgrace to journalism

  • Justin McKee

    The editor of this paper should be sacked immediately. This goes above and beyond explainable error and is nothing less than overt racism.

  • Mario Rodgers

    Yeah bullshit. A bunch of us George Takei fans went after them on their Facebook page, and I personally ragged on their anti-fluoride nonsense, and every single comment got obliterated. Is the kind of journalism they want?

  • KamikaziPilot

    So after this rag published the racist names they lied about the intent. I wish I could just poop on Tayoun’s face and tell him it’s my official way of saying “hello”, without any offense intended.

  • KamikaziPilot

    Testing, testing.

  • LL

    Apparently all you need to become an editor at the Public Record is the mentality of a grade-schooler.

  • Kifflette

    Speaking as an English person, I can confirm that the comment about the editor not meaning anything by it because he’s British as if we fling around racist epithets all the time over here is BS. This story would cause outrage over here too.

  • Presbyton

    The Paper has posted an apology.

  • Philatonian

    Has anyone in the States used “Britisher” since the 50s?

    • ofCanada

      “Chinky Winky,” “Me Too,” and “Dinky Doo.”

      Rest my case

  • ofCanada

    Proofreading? You mean like the lowest rung writer’s systematic removal of blatantly racist name calling of the editor at the paper? Well fire those min. wage slackers for not adequately covering his behind!

  • Robocop

    That paper has no real substance, just as Phillymag has no real substance to Philadelphia. The Public Record is run by paid politicians (voiced by Tayoun). Phillymag is a racist paper on its own with no minority writers. Two horrible examples of journalism.

  • LoveasLove

    Editor needs to be fired PERIOD! End of story. No need for an apology when the buster should be fired!

  • Kate K

    The best thing to do is to boycott their advertisers.

  • Kate K

    The best thing to do is to choose one of the paper’s advertisers and boycott it aggressively, pointing out the reason why.

  • Buzz_Kill

    Just whitey being whitey…

  • Prodale

    The real names are Chinese (those few names that ARE real). And “Du Wei” is phonetic spelling (or close to it) for “yes” or “right” in Mandarin. I know. So whoever did this wasn’t doing it by accident. They were being intentionally smart-ass about it. This was no proofreading error.

  • Prodale

    PS – And depending on how it’s pronounced “Guang Zhou” is a swear word in Mandarin, which the writer used twice if you noticed. But I’m pretty sure he spelled it wrong! Xie Xie!

  • Kevin Kong

    Look at this incredibly offensive website

  • superman

    This is sad, 2014 when this type of dinosaur thinking stop. We are human and we should learn to appreciate each other rather than racial remark. If you are not cultural sensitive then apologize. It is ok to make honest mistake if you don’t have any racist in your bone.

  • JM

    It’s amazing how Europe still sees racism as a big joke. SMH

  • GTea

    Proofreading error as in, “oops we forgot to filter out the racist name calling” or “oops we got caught but we’ll just treat it as an editing mistake and all will be forgiven” ?

    If they were truly sorry they would release the editor’s address. Just sayin’… 😉