Post Archives: An Open Letter To ‘Atlanta’ On That Nail Salon Scene

Post Archives: An Open Letter To ‘Atlanta’ On That Nail Salon Scene


This article was originally written for the YOMYOMF blog which was closed approximately two years ago and is being re-posted here for archival purposes.


Dear ‘Atlanta’,

First let me say that I’ve only watched 4-5 episodes of you, but I like what I’ve watched (and honestly that probably doesn’t mean much as you’re already one of hottest shows being watched these days not really due in part to me). I also know, just like with Issa Rae’s show, it’s a Black POV–it doesn’t have to cater to, nor should it, to the Asian American population and diaspora here in the land of MAGA, where we’re all trying to get somewhere without displacing anyone else.

As others have told me when they’ve said that I needed to watch you–you are poetic. I have been engaged by the storytelling and the characters. I like the direction from Hiro Murai.

There’s been a lot to love because it really is different.

I just gotta ask though about that nail salon scene in Season 2’s ‘Woods’ episode and what was behind it, because honestly my stomach sank a little when that scene came on because I wondered how much of the same thing I was going to get.

I mean it was a nail salon with Asian American people in it and the character Ciara was just rude to everyone already…

So I naturally braced myself.

And once the scene got going, Ciara went off on one of the Asian American women because they were too hard on her Instagram toes, which in a way was the same as when she went off in the other store barking at another person who worked there (who was White).

It was within her character.

And I’m not saying she didn’t have some good lines in that whole scene either (because she did).

But then she went off completely when they started talking in Korean and about how they needed to use English, and making assumptions that if someone was talking in another language they were talking about her–and from what I was told via K-Town–it was some regular day talk.

And sure, you can say it was within her character, because she’s rude AF.

And Paper Boi didn’t say anything that time (like she did when she barked at the White guy), and maybe that was a tipping point in helping him to leave–but I think he would have stayed if Ciara didn’t take his picture and they got into the argument.

So I guess I’m just wondering why you felt the need to add that last scene in where she goes on a tirade?

Wasn’t it already enough that we knew Ciara was rude and that she was rude to multiple people? What purpose did it serve to have Ciara go off on Asian American women who she already saw as below her (and physically were) from a “server” standpoint?

There was no comeuppance.

There wasn’t a twist, even in a small way.

It wasn’t even true to form and in a lot of ways it kept the stereotypes alive of the meek Asian American woman who just complies, because in a lot of places, if you’re disrespectful like that, you’re out the door.

Nothing meek about it.

So, I’m just asking the question.


Am I missing something?

And if I’m not, and it was just you know, the way it was, can I just ask not to have any Asian American people on versus ones that are like that?


Just let me know,


Just in case you were wondering too, it’s not just me talking about this scene (and I’m not trying to get into nail salon politics either per se), and I did think it was funny how the majority of outlets didn’t pick up on this scene in their recaps.



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