In the eight years that she has been married to Justin Hakuta, Ali Wong has told the public a lot of very personal things about him.
In her most recent Netflix stand-up special, Don Wong, the Asian American actor bragged about her Asian American husband’s accomplishments. He went to Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard Business School, and he was a Fulbright scholar.
She also said that he looked like Keanu Reeves and added, “I like guys who look as much like Keanu Reeves as possible.”
In Hard Knock Wife, which came out in 2018, Wong talked about the couple’s prenuptial agreement and how Hakuta’s income seems to be nothing compared to hers. Before that, in Baby Cobra, Wong told the story of how she and Hakuta met. She said that she thought Hakuta was too good for her, so she came up with a plan “to trap his a**!”
Still, despite the fact that there is a lot of information about him that can be found on Google and that he and Wong have been seen together on red carpets, some news outlets mistook Hakuta for Asian American actor Randall Park on the day Wong said she and her husband are going to split up. They used photos of Park instead of Hakuta.
The mistake has brought back the hashtag #wrongasian on social media and led to more jokes about the outlets. Parade magazine has since deleted a tweet that showed Wong and Park.
“Please! Can we not bring Wrong Asian racism into the news of Ali Wong‘s divorce?” Phil Yu, who wrote Rise: A Pop History of Asian America from the 1990s to Now, tweeted about it.
Others said they were tired of having to point out such careless mistakes, which happen a lot more when stories are about people of color.
“In their defense, Justin [Hakuta] and Randall Park were both Asian on the same night this one time,” wrote Esther Choo, an Asian American doctor and health communicator, in a tweet that included a red carpet photo of Wong and Hakuta taken on the same night as a red carpet photo of Wong and Park.
MSN, on the other hand, seems to have made a similar but worse mistake by leaving Wong out of the picture and only posting a picture of Park with the tweet, “Ali Wong and husband Justin Hakuta are getting a divorce after 8 years of marriage, reports say.”
The New York Times made a similar mistake about world-famous tennis player Serena Williams just last month. The newspaper wrote a story about Williams’s venture firm getting $111 million, but they used a picture of her sister Venus Williams by mistake.
Serena Williams replied on Twitter, “No matter how far we’ve come, we’re always told it’s not enough.” “This is why I was able to get $111 million for @serenaventures. To help the founders who are forgotten by systems that don’t realize how biased they are. Because even I am overlooked. New York Times, you can do better.”
Since then, Parade magazine has apologized to Wong, Hakuta, and Park and promised to “take stronger steps from now on.”
It added: “We made a mistake and thought that Justin Hakuta, who is married to Ali Wong, was her co-star Randall Park. We know how hurtful this photo mistake was and how it can hurt people, and we are very sorry.”