There have been plenty of aftershocks — both real and figurative — this week caused by the Japan earthquake.
But none — Aflac included — have been more tasteless than the saga surrounding Alexandra Wallace, a third-year political science major at UCLA, who posted a video ranting about the "Asians in the library" apparently distracting her finals' studies with phone calls to relatives in the hours after the 8.9 magnitude quake struck.
With little more than a webcam and a YouTube account, UCLA had its very own, very blonde Gilbert Gottfried. (Gottfried, the comedian, was fired as the voice of the Aflac duck after posting a series of tasteless jokes about Japan's earthquake and subsequent Tsunami on Twitter.)
If you haven't been following the UCLA story, here's a quick recap:
>> Wallace posted her three-minute monologue, lamenting "these hordes of Asian people that UCLA accepts into our school every year," to YouTube Friday. It quickly went viral.
>> Among her comments: "In America, we do not talk on our cell phones in the library! I swear, every five minutes I will be — OK, not five minutes, say like, 15 minutes — I'll be like deep into my studying, into my political-science theories and arguments and all that stuff, getting it all down, like typing away furiously, blah blah blah … and then all of a sudden, when I'm about to like, reach an epiphany — over here from somewhere, 'OHHH! CHING CHONG LING LONG TING TONG? OHHH!'"
>> And: "I swear they're going through their whole families, just checking on everybody from the tsunami thing. … Like, you seriously should go outside if you're going to do that."
>> Wallace, an aspiring bikini model, pulled the clip from YouTube, but not before mirrored versions, like this one, cropped up. (This version's been viewed more than 4 million times.)
>> By Sunday night, according to L.A. Weekly, "Asians at the Library" had been shared by "tens of thousands of Facebook users and even made its way onto 'Tosh.0.'"
>> There were then the obligatory remixes of Wallace's rant. Look, this one's auto-tuned!
>> Wallace was forced to disconnect her phone, according to UCLA's Daily Bruin.
>> University officials denounced her comments, but were not initially able to confirm if Wallace was enrolled at the school.
>> UCLA Chancellor Gene Block posted his own video, urging students enraged by Wallace's video to remain calm. "Regardless of how offended I am, or you may be… I hope we can remain civil in our discourse."
>> On Monday, Wallace herself released a statement apologizing for her video: "Clearly the original video posted by me was inappropriate. I cannot explain what possessed me to approach the subject as I did, and if I could undo it, I would. I'd like to offer my apology to the entire UCLA campus. For those who cannot find it within them to accept my apology, I understand."
>> Campus police said Wallace had received death threats, and were investigating. Her poli-sci professor rescheduled her finals as a precaution.
>> By midweek, a website, ohhhchingchonglinglongtingtong.com, was created to sell Wallace-mocking T-shirts, including this one. All proceeds, fittingly, go to Red Cross Japan relief.