David Cross is elaborating on his previous statement about comedian Charlyne Yi’s recollection of their first encounter together.
The Arrested Development star previously said he didn’t “remember” insulting Yi and that he was “truly sorry” if she was hurt by what he said. In a series of tweets this week, Yi accused Cross of insulting her clothing before making several offensive racist comments, including “ching-chong-ching-chong,” when they first met around 10 years ago.
In an updated response, however, Cross is now arguing that whatever he said to Yi was based on an “a–hole racist redneck character” he’d often play, and that she “did not understand” he was doing his “welcome to Shreveport” greeting while the cast of a film was meeting each other on set in Shreveport, Louisiana. Further, Cross said Yi was the girlfriend of his friend “Michael” at the time and that Yi’s former significant other never mentioned the incident to him. (Cross and Michael Cera filmed 2009’s Year One in Shreveport around the time of the incident; Cera and Yi had long been rumored to have dated and appeared together in the 2009 mockumentary Paper Heart as themselves.)
“I had NO IDEA that [Yi] was upset or I would’ve apologized to both her and Michael,” Cross explained. “I believe that had to be it because I would never knowingly treat someone like that.”
On Twitter, Yi said that her interaction with Cross left her “very clearly on the verge of tears” and that she could “tell the difference between this man making a joke vs condescending me.”
Cross also referenced the building backlash against him on social media, calling out those who have dubbed him a “racist.” The comedian bluntly told those attacking him to stop doing so.
“I am done with this,” he wrote. “And to all the strangers who flood my timeline and even my Instagram (!) to tell me, with very little information and even less context, that I am a racist piece of sh– creep bully a–hole etc… I truly hope, and I mean this from the bottom of my soul, that this happens to you too.”