woman reacting to a call

Michelle Li/Twitter

‘She’s being very Asian’: Viewer complains after Korean-American news anchor mentions dumpling soup on-air

'She can keep her Korean to herself.'


Daysia Tolentino


Posted on Jan 2, 2022   Updated on Jan 3, 2022, 10:43 am CST

Michelle Li, a Korean-American news anchor for KSDK in St. Louis, mentioned eating dumpling soup during a segment on New Year’s Day foods, and a viewer called in to criticize her.

“I ate dumpling soup,” Li said at the end of her piece. “That’s what a lot of Korean people do.”

Li posted a video to Twitter, playing a call from someone who watched her segment. Apparently, a disgruntled viewer did not appreciate Li’s brief nod to her culture and called her to complain. In the call, the woman tells Li that she took offense to Li speaking about being Asian and eating dumplings. She then left a racist message for the journalist.

“What if one of your white anchors said, ‘Will [sic] white people eat this on New Year’s Day’?” the caller said. “I don’t think it was appropriate that she said that and she was being very Asian. And I don’t know, she can keep her Korean to herself.”

The caller then called Li’s mentioning of dumplings “annoying” and believed a white anchor would have been fired for mentioning what foods they eat for New Year’s Day.

“I’d love to say something back,” Li wrote in the tweet featuring the video.

Li pointed out that she had discussed traditional “American” food right before talking about dumplings.

Her video received over 1 million views on Twitter. #VeryAsian began trending as people offered their support to the anchor and embraced their own heritages.

If the caller intended “very Asian” to be an insult, Li emphasized that it is something to be proud of.

The Daily Dot reached out to Li via email for comment.

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*First Published: Jan 2, 2022, 3:59 pm CST