Are We Still Doing This??

The other day I popped into my social media and it suggested I be friends with this guy. He’s rocking the “Yellowface” to do the linking rings. This a super lazy presentation approach, and definitely not a modern one. He puts on the outfit to do the Linking Rings.

Let’s take a step back and look at him trying to honor Asian culture. He didn’t do any research on it. There’s no evidence that the lining rings came from china (source: Genii online). So aside from the rings being from China, why is he wearing the clothes? Based on this article which reviews him doing the rings, I can’t find any reason why he’s wearing that robe in his presentation. I hope he wasn’t using any of the “I learned this from a great Chinsese magician…Fu Ling Yu” lines.

We as magicians need to move past this sort of stuff. You can do the Linking Rings without putting on robes.

He’s repping the Society of American Magicians in his Facebook cover, which is a bad look for the association.

I will say that I do have an out of context view of what’s happening as I’m just seeing a facebook picture, however the article I read seems to confirm what I’m thinking. In my heart, I hope he’s doing a thought out presentation that’s respectful…


Get with the times…

One thing in magic we need to move beyond is the yellow face imagery. Recently in a magic collectors group someone posted they had gotten the prop below:

For some context, this isn’t an original prop, it’s a reproduction that was made sometime in about the last 20 years. They were reproduced by Magic Makers, and since then several other companies have put them out.

I mentioned the imagery was offensive to me and one magician told me to “get a life“. Clearly they don’t understand the history of this imagery. It was used in the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s to portray Asians as sub human. You can learn more about the history behind how the imagery was used here:

If you look at whole design of the prop it’s not just the face, but that he’s in jail!

I will say that I have less of an issue with the original as a collectible prop, as while I’m not a fan of it, it was “socially acceptable” at the point it was made. That doesn’t make it right, and it has no place in a show and no place as a retail item that’s currently being made.

Get with the times…