I was working as a producer for a client who brought in a pool of actors they wanted to use in an upcoming production.
Me: I noticed you have some Asian talent in your headshots you sent us. Do you know what ethnicity they are?
Client: I think this one is Japanese, this one - I think - is Cambodian, and this girl may be Korean.
Me: Do any of them speak their native language?
Client: I think they all speak a little Asian, yeah.
"I aint’ paying that, I can get Pakis to do it."
I was asked to design some branding for a gambling lounge.
Client: We want it to have a strong Asian theme. Gold and dark red gradients. Dragons. I’s going to be called the Dragon Lounge.
Me: Here is your identity and poster, let me know what your thoughts are and if there’s anything else I can do.
Client: It’s a bit oriental, don’t you think?
Me: Errrrr… Yes?
I created a brochure for an organization that offered a senior-based service. At the top of the brochure was a group photo of seniors with two Caucasian couples, an African-American couple, and an Asian couple.
Client: I think it looks good, but you can take out the picture at the top? We don’t help people like that. Can you find a picture with just some normal people in it?
I didn’t ask after which people they didn’t consider normal, preferring ignorance and a payday to the borderline hate crime. But when they rejected the ethnically-ambiguous photo I replaced it with, calling it “confusing,” the truth became unavoidable.
Client: Looks great, just one change. Don’t use that picture of the model on the site. She looks so Asian!
Me: Well, she is Asian.
Client: I don’t care, it’s racist.
Me: I don’t think you know what ‘racist’ means…
Client: I don’t think you know what ‘Asian’ means!
A client was upset that the model didn’t meet his expectations, claiming he wanted someone more ethnic.
Me: Do you want me to take another session with a different model? I can arrange an African-american model -
Client: No, no, just throw some Photoshop tar on her face and make her black. I don’t want to pay for another session with some African - [here it gets too rude for quoting]
Naturally, I terminated the contract after he finished his racial slurs.
"Can you darken her skin tone a little bit? We need to show more diversity."
"The client is from Alabama. They all talk slow - we need to allocate time in the agenda for that."
— Client notes for an upcoming meeting