NZ real estate agent warned for using fake Asian accent in sales pitch


An Auckland real estate agent of Asian descent has been formally warned by her employer for posting a TikTok video in which she used a fake Asian accent and offered domestic services to potential homebuyers.

Key points:

  • Linh Yee, an award-winning agent for Australasia real estate group Ray White, posted a video of herself marketing a property while using an exaggerated Asian accent and offering to clean and cook.

  • The video circulated for over a week before a complaint that it perpetuated harmful stereotypes of Asian women led to its removal, reported NZ Herald.

  • Yee apologized, saying she intended it as humor but now recognizes it was culturally insensitive.

The details:

  • In the controversial video, Yee called herself "Lingling" and said, "You pay me good price, I also get dirty for you, see — I clean." She also offered to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for buyers. The video ended with Yee saying "love you long time," a reference to a derogatory line from the movie "Full Metal Jacket."

  • Her viral TikTok video was removed after an Auckland woman of Asian descent condemned Yee for proliferating "stereotypes against Southeast Asian women."

  • Yee showcased her fluency in English without an accent in a separate video promoting a property in Sandringham, highlighting a stark contrast to her accent in the viral video.


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  • In response to the backlash, Yee said she was "truly sorry," adding, “Moving forward, I am committed to educating myself and being more mindful of the impact of my words and actions. I understand that words alone cannot undo the hurt caused, but I hope to demonstrate through my future behavior a genuine commitment to learning and growth.”

  • Ray White Epsom director Nick Lyus confirmed that Yee received a formal warning, and the company, while not vetting all social media posts, emphasized its commitment to providing cultural sensitivity and anti-discrimination training to its employees.

Big picture:

  • The incident underscores the broader conversation around addressing racism and promoting cultural understanding and respect in various spheres, including the real estate industry.


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