Did CNBC Mean to Joke About Breakfast at Tiffany's Racism?

Those of you who've seen the otherwise splendid Breakfast at Tiffany's will remember its one serious black mark: Holly Golightly's racist caricature of a landlord. Mr. Yunioshi, Audrey Hepburn's Japanese upstairs neighbor and landlord played by the decidedly non-Japanese Mickey Rooney in the 1961 film, is pure yellowface. Watch the movie now and it just jumps out at you amidst an otherwise lush and immersive film.

Screenshot from CNBC.com

Screenshot from CNBC.com

So, when I read an article on CNBC about the sale of the Upper East Side mansion the movie was set in (and that Mr. Yunioshi owned), I was surprised to see an internal CNBC ad midway through reading "Asian investors bet on US real estate." Whatever machine of interns or robots that generates these mid-article ads saw a relationship between the two stories and inserted a link.

The joke, or at least uncanny coincidence here, is that the stereotyped Asian character had invested in that same US real estate in the movie.

I doubt there's any intention on CNBC's part here. The ad machine likely just showed its gears clunking in a somewhat unflattering way. Two real estate stories connected to each other. In fact, calling Yunioshi an investor offers more respect to the character than the movie itself does. And, to add another layer to the picture, the author of the post is Asian-American herself.

Happy Halloween, everyone. Don't dress up as other races for your costumes.