In a painfully buffoonish and catastrophically dumb song about a character named "Chow," beauty queen and former Apprentice contestant Jennifer Murphy sings about a man stealing her Jeep, planting a bomb, and inspiring her to become, as she puts it, a "neenja," complete with Asian vocal affectation. No Dylan-esque layers of meaning here—just a straightforward story of villainy, martial arts, and casual western appropriative racism.
As angryasianman.com notes, the video "sneak peek" was filmed in April at a launch party for Murphy's Murphy Beds home furnishing line, but skyrocketed into viral infamy this week after being discovered by Reddit users. The original video was subsequently pulled from Murphy's YouTube channel, but mirrored versions have since popped up across the internet.
Lyrical content aside, though, it's Murphy's faux-Asian accent, punctuated by half-hearted chopping motions that's the real star of the show.
Worse still is that the whole thing appears to have gone down in front of an all-white audience, save for a single Asian woman, who can be seen smiling blandly/heroically while Murphy sings lines like, "I want to chop, chop, chop Chow down. Take Chow down to Chinatown."
"This is honestly so outlandishly racist I don't think I'm even offended," wrote one reddit commenter, who describes herself as "that loudass Asian girl."
"This is so ridiculously tone-deaf that I actually kind of feel sorry for her," another said. "Come on Jennifer. In what world would this have been a good idea."
Murphy apologized for the video on her Facebook page on July 15, writing:
I did a song in front of a group of friends that was meant to be silly and self-deprecating, and I posted it last April and received comments from friends and strangers that it was funny.
It is obvious that I had bad judgment and didn’t understand that my attempt at humor would be seen as insensitive or mean-spirited, and I have removed the video from my channels.
I want to be a person who is positive and uplifting to others. Clearly in this instance, this has not been the case, and I have learned a valuable lesson.
I sincerely apologize to every person that has felt pain and offence because of me, and I ask their forgiveness.
Murphy first rose to national prominence as Miss Oregon in 2003, before becoming a top 10 finalists in the Miss USA competition in 2004. The following year she appeared on the fourth season of The Apprentice, thanks to the efforts of host Donald Trump, who later explained that the show's producers were reluctant to have her as a contestant.
"They said she was too beautiful," Trump told The New York Times in 2005. "I said, 'Excuse me, there is no such thing as too beautiful.' They said, 'Donald she's so beautiful, she's not credible.' I said, 'No. 1, she happens to be smart. No. 2, she's very beautiful—congratulations, she's going on the show."
Murphy was "fired" six weeks later.