I like a good outrage as much as the next guy, but I’ll reserve my judgement on this one:
“I was on a 24-hour trip on a train from Delhi to Orissa. But, after 72 hours, the train still didn’t reach the destination due to some strike and, earlier, due to a rail block by some cows or camels. At the end… my skin became dirty and dark, like the Tamilians,” she reportedly told the gathering.
However, Chao went on to applaud India and its culture. “I was a student like you and had an opportunity to do a semester abroad. I could have gone to any country, but I chose to come to India as I was fascinated by the culture and the religion. I travelled across the villages…
I was amazed at the graciousness and friendliness of the people,” she said.
Without hearing the audio, it is tough to tell whether she equated dirty and dark skin with Tamilians (that would be ignorant and in bad taste) or just dark skin (which could even work as a humourous anecdote if told right).
Let’s assume it is the latter. Would you feel the same way had someone said the following: I waited at the flour mill for an hour and at the end, my skin became white like a foreigner.
While on skin color, why the animosity towards Freida Pinto? Most comments I’ve heard or read about her over the years are summed up by the good commenters here.