Miley Cyrus is in hot water with some activist groups who are claiming that a recent photo of the teen star is racially insensitive and degrading.
In a photo obtained by TMZ, Cyrus, 16, is shown sitting on her boyfriend Justin Gaston’s lap surrounded by a group of friends all making a stereotypical gesture by pulling their eyes into a slanted position. The gesture is commonly thought to be offensive to Asian Pacific Americans.
The OCA, an organization dedicated to advancing the social, political and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans in the U.S., has slammed Cyrus for the photo.
In a statement on its Web site, the OCA says: “The photography of Miley Cyrus and other individuals slanting their eyes currently circulating the Internet is offensive to the Asian Pacific American community and sets a terrible example for her many young fans. This image falls within a long and unfortunate history of people mocking and denigrating individuals of Asian decent.
"Not only has Miley Cyrus and the other individuals in the photograph encouraged and legitimized the taunting and mocking of people of Asian descent, she has also insulted many of her Asian Pacific American fans,” George Wu, the executive director of OCA said.
And while there is a young man of Asian descent in the photo, Wu says that is hardly enough to make it acceptable.
Wu says he hopes Cyrus will apologize to her fans and the APA community.
A rep for Cyrus did not respond to repeated requests for comment.