US recruiter slammed for emailing 'sexist and racist' phrase to Asian-American job applicant

The email contained a derogatory remark.
The email contained a derogatory remark. Photo credit: Facebook/Connie Cheung

A vice president of a US recruiting firm has received widespread backlash for accidentally emailing a job candidate a derogatory comment.

Chicago woman Connie Cheung applied for a job as an office management assistant after seeing an advert on LinkedIn. Jim McMahon, the vice president of the Chicago Search Group recruiting firm, offered her a phone interview last week. 

Cheung subsequently received an email from McMahon containing the phrase "me love you long time", an expression considered highly demeaning to people of Asian heritage.

The email, allegedly sent by mistake, was also received by the company's president Brian Haugh, its intended recipient.

"When you apply for a job and the recruiting managers are emailing about you behind your back," Cheung posted a screenshot of the email to her Facebook account last Wednesday.


Cheung's post has received a number of comments from outraged social media users.

"Me thinks you are sexist and racist," one person commented.

"I'd report them. That's straight up racist," another suggested.

Cheung posted an update to the incident on Friday, June 28. According to Cheung, McMahon called to apologise and explained the phrase was a reference from a 1987 Stanley Kubrick film, Full Metal Jacket.

The expression came from a Vietnamese prostitute soliciting her services to an American soldier.

"Regardless if it was from a movie, it doesn't justify that this phrase has been used to demean Asian women for decades," Cheung wrote in her update.

"This phrase was emailed from someone's work email to a coworker in regards to a potential employee, who happened to be an Asian American female."

Despite McMahon's apology, the intended recipient of the email, Mr Haugh, has been less remorseful.

"I called and spoke with the guy who received this email and he claims he knows nothing about this and that his assistant handles his emails," Cheung wrote.

Cheung explained that her friend had also contacted Haugh and received a curt response.


"With all due respect, I am focused on bigger problems than your friend being offended by a movie quote," Haugh wrote to Cheung's friend.

"Sorry, but just don't have time for this... you may want to google libel laws before your crew posts things publicly. Our attorneys are on call."

A number of people have contacted the recruitment firm to complain about the derogatory email, and have offered their support to Cheung.


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