“We’re a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic world. So I don’t understand,” Tia said.
As someone who has played every ethnicity there is, she knows a little something about borrowing from other cultures.
And Tia Carrere has come to the defense of Kim Kardashian amid the ongoing Kimono controversy.
The "KUWTK" star has come under fire for trademarking the name of her lingerie and shapewear company, with some deeming it disrespectful to Japanese culture.
"All I know is I’m Filipino and I wear kimonos," a puzzled Tia said. "I don’t understand why we can’t… I wear Chinese things, Japanese things. If you’re Filipino you can only wear Filipino things?"
"We’re a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic world. So I don’t understand. I’ve seen Kim Kardashian wearing kimonos, so if she wants to have a kimono company, I don’t see what the problem is."
Kim issued a statement this week in response to the backlash, insisting she had "deep respect for the significance of the kimono in Japanese culture" and that the moniker, besides the obvious play on her own name, was a "nod to the beauty and detail that goes into a garment."
She promised she would not actually be making anything that resembles the traditional Japanese dress, but also held fast on not changing the name.
The fact that Kim was only using the name made no difference to Tia: "What are we going to do, get the approval of the cultural police?" she asked.
As far as the "True Lies" star is concerned, she is not so possessive over her culture.
"I’m Filipino-Spanish-Chinese, born and raised in Hawaii where everybody is like five different ethnic backgrounds," Tia said. "I’ve played Chinese, I’ve played Japanese, I’ve played Vietnamese… I’ve played every different ethnic background. So I’m not so proprietary about that whole stuff."
She added: ‘Plus Kim Kardashian’s really nice! I did a show with her, I met her and her mom… she’s really sweet."
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