Former MTV news correspondent SuChin Pak has accused the network of being a hotbed of racism, saying that a “white male executive” once used a racial slur about her in the workplace.
“Years ago, when I was a news correspondent at MTV, I overheard a colleague of mine, while watching me do the news that evening, tell a room full of people that I looked like a ‘me sucky sucky love you long time’ whore,” Pak wrote.
“I was young, afraid as usual to cause a fuss or be seen as difficult or too ‘sensitive’ being the only female in the news room, so I didn’t say anything in the moment,” she added.
The next day, however, Pak said, “it hit me that he said it in a room full of people, mostly women, who somehow now think subconsciously or consciously that this kind of [misogynistic] violent, racist language could be overlooked and dismissed and that worse, that someone like me would just swallow it and shrink into the small space that I had been allowed to occupy.”
Therefore, Pak said that she “fought to have this person removed,” and stopped coming into work.
“The executives tried to mediate to reconcile but I refused. It dragged on for months,” she said. “I did not do this because I had an agenda or even courage, I just had this sinking feeling in my gut that I had to do this.”
“It’s the kind of sinking feeling though that doesn’t give you strength, or bravery, it was the kind that kept me in bed for a month, crying, scared and uncertain about everything,” Pak added.
The media personality says that she now realizes “there was a fire, an anger, a burning rage that kept me on the course,” adding that she had a lawyer “who believed that I could not walk back into a place that harbored this kind of hate.”
Pak went on to say that “one last attempt was made at ‘reconciliation’ as if that was even appropriate,” when the “white male executive” wrote her a letter as a “final gesture,” which Pak says came off to her as an attempt to “bring me into submission” and remind her “that someone’s livelihood was on the line, that I was somehow responsible for that.”
Pak says she never opened the letter.
“Asians have been the butt of jokes, but these jokes are not to be dealt with lightly,” Pak continued. “These jokes are just the timid veneer that hide violence, hate, [misogyny], racism and white supremacy.”
“Our grandparents, our elders, our brothers and sisters are being spit on, punched, shot, attacked and murdered while these ‘jokes’ are being spit in our faces. Be angry. Be fucking enraged. And then do something to repair this damage,” she added.
In recent years, MTV has teamed up with social justice groups to launch a “diversity, equity, and inclusion” orientation initiative seeking to construct new “baseline cultural norms” across Viacom CBS’ brands.
MTV has also been accused of being sexist. Last year, pop star Miley Cyrus expressed that she was a victim of sexism at the MTV Video Music Awards after the show’s directors were reportedly reluctant to meeting her demands regarding the lighting on stage.