Wednesday 07th December 2016,

Asian Americans

Workers Accused of Directing Slur at Asian American Put on Administrative Leave

posted by Louis Chan

AHRC New York
By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent

Workers allegedly involved in a racist incident directed at an Asian American actor have been put on administrative leave and removed from any interaction with the public.

The announcement by Gary Lind, Executive Director of AHRC New York City, was made today on the group’s Facebook page.
“I have directed that the employees of our contractor who were initially implicated in this incident be put on administrative leave and are removed from any public interaction duties,” wrote Lind in his statement. “We will employ an outside law firm to review all of the facts that can be ascertained regarding this incident and to advise us as to the appropriate actions.”

Michael Benzinger in a Facebook post widely shared on the internet accused a janitor at the foundation of calling him a “chink” and was overheard telling a security guard that “all chinks look the same.”

Michael Benzinger

Michael Benzinger


Benzinger complained about the incident to who he described as the “company’s director” and received what he felt was a halfhearted written apology.

RELATED: Korean American Actor Called ‘Chink’

In an email made available to AsAmNews, Sharon Fong of AHRC’s personnel resource management, wrote: “AHRC is passionate in its commitment to upholding the principles of non-discrimination, and we have certainly reinforced our expectation of adherence to these principles to the lobby staff. In terms of your complaint, we followed a very strict protocol in investigating it in full, and the result is that we are unable to substantiate the allegation of discriminatory behavior directed towards you in the lobby of 83 Maiden Lane. We apologize for any negative experience you believe you had while in the building.”

After hearing about the suspension, Benzinger told AsAmNews “I’m glad to hear the janitor was put on ‘administrative leave,’ but I want the directors to be suspended without pay for at least two days and be forced to take some racial sensitivity training. The suspension seems unlikely, but the racial sensitivity training is possible.”

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3 Comments

  1. Edwin Chen says:

    RE: Workers accused of directing slur at Asian American put on administrative leave: Special thanks should be given to Jouyin Teoh, Erin Chew, You Offend Me You Offend My Family, and AsAmNews for helping to highlight this horrific event that transpired at AHRC New York City Foundation. Our people have been shamed, and publicly humiliated for far too long. This is an important step forward in our progression towards equality in American society. I am very pleased that our community was able to mobilize, and voice our collective outrage with such speed, efficiency and unity!

  2. Edwin Chen says:

    RE: Workers accused of directing slur at Asian American put on administrative leave: “I think it’s great they put the janitor and security guard on administrative leave but why did it take 4 weeks and over 150 complaints for them to take racism seriously? I think the company is missing the big picture. The way in which the directors (Pamela Minkoff and Sharon Fong) handled the situation from beginning to end is totally unacceptable. They failed to see how “chink” and “ching chong” are racist. In the end they tried to silence me by having an Asian worker (Sharon Fong) contact me.
    Besides putting the janitor and security guard on “administrative leave” what else will they do to ensure no one of any color will have to put up with racist harassment? What will they do to ensure the directors will respond in a timely and professional manner? In my opinion ALL of the staff (especially Pamela Minkoff) need some intensive training when it comes to racial sensitivity. I also will not stop until the stop until the Miss Minkoff and Miss Fong issue a sincere apology, which is not blanketed by condescending, unapologetic language.” – Michael Benzinger

  3. Mal says:

    RE: Workers accused of directing slur at Asian American put on administrative leave: Administrative leave means a temporary leave from a job assignment, with pay and benefits intact.

    So for calling someone a “chink”, these workers just got “punished” with a paid vacation. Completely unacceptable.

    They should be fired and blacklisted, period.

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