Things came to an awkward halt at last Saturday’s premiere of the highly anticipated Fifty Shades of Grey when during a red carpet interview, E! News correspondent, Sarah Meagher, confused actress Lucy Liu with the fictional, animated Disney princess, Mulan.
“We were all confused when she kept congratulating her for her victory over the Huns,” says a source close to Liu. “She kept asking questions about her pet dragon, Mushu.” Luckily, Liu was able to quickly shut down Meagher, explaining, “I was in Kill Bill. So you might be confusing me with my character, O-Ren, and also confusing that character with the Disney character, Mulan.” Meagher unfortunately added, “You look so much less cartoony in real life!”
When asked about the possible resemblance between the human actress and the animated lady-warrior, Anthony Chung, the head chairman of the National Asian American Telecommunications Association, responded, “Not even close.”
When asked how she could have possibly thought the statuesque, flesh-and-blood Liu was the Disney-adapted folklore character Mulan, Meagher claims Liu greeted her with, “Hi-YA!” although Liu’s PR camp says you can clearly hear her on video saying, “Hi, how are you?” The confusion escalated when the E! News graphics department gave Liu the chyron, “Mulan, Drag King.”
E! News issued an apology today regarding the incident, stating: “We sincerely apologize for the miscommunication, and are working hard to rectify the situation. We at E! News understand that China, Japan, Cambodia, Brunei, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mongolia, Indonesia, Philippines, and Korea are all different countries. We also understand that Mulan is a cartoon based on a Chinese legend.”
Sarah Meagher calls the incident “embarrassing” and but has not decided to resign from her on-air job. “I have tons of Asian friends,” Sarah said insistently, “I even know how to use chopsticks!”
“Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens all the time,” a source close to Liu reports. “She’s also been confused with Sandra Oh, Margaret Cho, Mao Zedong, and Hello Kitty.”