This Is the Racist Comment David Cross Says He Doesn’t Remember Making to an Actress

Actress and comedian Charlyne Yi says that David Cross made a racist comment while speaking with her about 10 years ago, but Cross says he doesn’t remember doing so.

As dozens of women in the entertainment industry come forward this month with stories of men being inappropriate in Hollywood, Charlyne Yi shared a story on Twitter of meeting David Cross a decade ago, saying that he was racist and made her cry.

“I think about the first time I met David Cross ten years ago & he made fun of my pants (that were tattered because I was poor),” she wrote. “Dumbfounded I stared at him speechless and he said to me ‘what’s a matter? You don’t speak English?? Ching-chong-ching-chong.’ Then after he saw I was offended he asked me if I was going to fight with him karate in a southern accent.”

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 02: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) David Cross attends The 2011 New Yorker Festival: "Arrested Development" Panel at Acura at SIR Stage37 on October 2, 2011 in New York City. (

David Cross in 2011. | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Yi went on to say that she met Cross a few years later and he clearly didn’t remember the exchange, as he acted like they had never met before when they were introduced. She added that it was pretty clear to her that he was not just making a joke.

“I can tell the difference between this man making a joke vs condescending me,” she said.

Finally, Yi said that this was a decade ago and that she hopes that Cross has changed since then.

“HOWEVER it is very uncool that a 40+ man was being racist towards me, being a young 20 year old woman who was clearly on the verge of tears from his first racist comment,” she said.

David Cross soon responded, first tweeting at Yi and saying that he doesn’t remember this happening and that it’s “bonkers” and “way out of character” for him. He also asked her to DM him.

Later, Cross released a more detailed statement, saying that he was taken off guard by Yi’s accusation and that the comment doesn’t sound like something he would say.

“This accusation from Charlyne took me by surprise and was deeply upsetting,” he wrote. “I would never intentionally hurt someone like that. I do not remember doing this when I met her. I do remember meeting her though…I am NOT accusing Charlene [sic] of lying and I’m truly sorry if I hurt her, it was never my intention do that.”

Charlyne Yi at a screening of Paper Heart

Charlyne Yi at a screening of Paper Heart. | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Cross went on to say that “perhaps we are both misremembering *exactly* what happened that night?” He added that “I can’t believe I have to write this but I am not a racist nor a bully and loathe them in real life.”

In his statement, Cross said that he reached out to Yi via Twitter. It’s unclear if they had a discussion in private, but Yi has not tweeted about Cross since her initial accusation. However, when a friend of Cross’ said on Twitter that he is not a racist, Cross responded by writing, “Thanks Barry. I think I’ve figured it all out now.”