Asian Leaders Angered by Rosie O'Donnell's 'Ching Chong' Comments

Note to Rosie O'Donnell: Stick to singsong.

"The View" co-host is in hot water for using the expression "ching chong" to describe Chinese people talking about Danny DeVito's drunken appearance on her show.

"The fact is that it's news all over the world. That you know, you can imagine in China it's like: 'Ching chong … ching chong. Danny DeVito, ching chong, chong, chong, chong. Drunk. 'The View.' Ching chong," O'Donnell said on a Dec. 5 episode of "The View."

The statement didn't sit well with John C. Liu, a New York City councilman, who fired off a letter to "View" co-host Barbara Walters.

"The 'ching-chong' bit is not a trivial matter," Liu told "It really hits a raw nerve for many people in the community — many like myself, who grew up with these kinds of taunts. We all know that it never ends at the taunts."

Liu isn't the only one offended.

The Asian American Journalists Association called O'Donnell's comments a "mockery" that gives "the impression that [Asian Americans] are a group that is substandard to English-speaking people."

Liu said his office has received complaints from around the New York area following the appearance. He directed his letter to Walters instead of O'Donnell because as producer of the show, he said, she ought to know better.

"It's just stupidity, and it's stupidity that justifies a response," Liu said of O'Donnell's behavior, adding the comments came "from someone who has been indignant herself when it comes to comments made by other people where she has perceived it as being negative against a particular community."

In November, O'Donnell made up with Kelly Ripa, co-host of "Live With Regis and Kelly," after accusing her of homophobia for pushing Clay Aiken's hand away from her mouth on the program.

O'Donnell remains unfazed.

"She's a comedian in addition to being a talk show co-host," Cindi Berger, O'Donnell's spokeswoman, said in a statement. "I certainly hope that one day they will be able to grasp her humor."

On Dec. 8, O'Donnell wrote in her blog "it was not my intent to mock." She clarified her position on Dec. 10, calling the bit "comedy."

"I do many accents and probably will continue to," she wrote. "My mom in law impression offends some southerners. What can u do? I come in peace."

O'Donnell is not the first comedian to raise the ire of the Asian-American community.

In 2001, Sarah Silverman told a joke on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien" that had the punch line "I love Chinks."

The NBC program issued an apology to Guy Aoki, the president of the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, following Silverman's appearance.

Liu is still waiting for an apology for O'Donnell's comments.

"I think an acknowledgement that it was a mistake would be very much appreciated by the community," he said.