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Amber Tamblyn has defended Charlyne Yi after the actress said Tamblyn’s husband David Cross made racist comments to her 10 years ago.
Tamblyn, an actress and director of the new film Paint It Black, responded to the accusations by saying she’d spoken to Yi (House, Steven Universe) and believes her. She also asked critics not to hold her accountable for the words of her husband, after people on Twitter started @-ing her about his apology.
I spoke to @charlyne_yi and her feelings/safety are all that matter to me. We’re good. I owe you nothing, Twitter. You’re lucky to have me.— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) October 20, 2017
I’ll say it again. I spoke to Charlyne. I believe her. I’m about HER feelings/emotional health right now, not Twitter’s. That okay with you? https://t.co/aQU5dGqKuY— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) October 20, 2017
I will say this for the last time. Do not hold women accountable for the actions, decisions or words of their partners. Don’t. Do it.— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) October 20, 2017
On Oct. 16, Yi tweeted about meeting Cross for the first time and how he made her feel uncomfortable with a racist joke. She also pre-empted any “but it was a joke” defenses by saying she knew she was being condescended to.
Then after he saw I was offended he asked me if I was going to fight with him karate in a southern accent. Then a few years later he was re-introduced to me after my comedy show with his girlfriend at the time & he said "Hi nice to meet you".— Charlyne Yi (@charlyne_yi) October 16, 2017
HOWEVER it is very uncool that a 40+ man was being racist towards me, being a young 20 year old woman who was clearly on the verge of tears from his first racist comment.— Charlyne Yi (@charlyne_yi) October 16, 2017
Cross attempted to explain the encounter—and Yi’s experience—in a series of tweets, saying he was surprised by the accusations and using the hashtag #Rashomon, which was not the best reference. He then tried to put another Band-Aid on his non-apology by stating that he was just doing a “southern redneck” character—which he’s employed on Mr. Show and in his standup—because they were in Louisiana when they met for the first time, and Yi obviously “did not understand” that he was doing his “welcome to Shreveport greeting.”
Audra Schroeder is the Daily Dot’s senior entertainment writer, and she focuses on streaming, comedy, and music. Her work has previously appeared in the Austin Chronicle, the Dallas Observer, NPR, ESPN, Bitch, and the Village Voice. She is based in Austin, Texas.