“Cultural appropriation” is a hot-button issue for many. What does and does not qualify as harmful or “offensive” is not well-defined, leading to heated debates. However, when one woman pointed the finger at Sony on Twitter for a recent E3 performance, many rallied against her claims, citing evidence and common sense assessments to invalidate her position.
Dani Jo, a Twitter user, posted on the social media platform chiding Sony for a YouTube video that featured a “white man” playing a traditional Japanese instrument while wearing Japanese style attire.
She wrote: “Can someone at @sony please explain why you chose NOT to hire a Japanese performer to wear traditional Japanese wardrobe, for a Japanese game? This is extremely offensive to your Asian-American consumers and blatant cultural appropriation. Please explain.”
However, it was abundantly clear that she didn’t look beyond the video before making her argument.
One Twitter user, who posted under the name Best Mom Eva, who identified as Japanese, defended the Sony, stating that the man featured in the video “is one of the few living people officially recognized as a master… of that instrument.”
In a follow-up tweet, the Best Mom Eva added, “The man who performed with the shakuhachi flute at #E32018 is none other than Cornelius Boots, an internationally acclaimed composer and recognized shakuhachi master.”
“He started learning music at age 9,” she continued. “That’s him with Atsuda Okuda – the greatest shakuhachi player alive.”
“If someone says that you can’t do or be something because of your skin color, and you are racist if you do, the racist probably isn’t you,” Best Mom Eva added.
After the exchange, it appears that Dani Jo shut down her Twitter account, as it is no longer viewable.
However, Best Mom Eva’s points didn’t do enough to stop others from hurling accusations at Sony, including references to “whitewashing” and “yellowface.”
During the discourse, Boots actually made an appearance, replying to a user who stated they wanted to “hear him cover Electric Funeral.” Boots was happy to oblige, stating, “Ask and receive,” while supplying a link to a YouTube video.
— 🏔 Cornelius Boots (@CorneliusBoots) June 13, 2018