Leave it to the New York Times to turn the death of the well-liked Pat Morita into an occasion of grievance against the “lousy system” in which Morita had prospered. “It’s distressing to think that the life’s work of one of the best-known, hardest-working Asian-American actors is mostly a collection of servile supporting roles,” Lawrence Downes writes in a special op-ed. But if Morita was “servile,” how could he have been the font of Eastern wisdom in the wildy popular “Karate Kid”? Was it “servile” of Morita to appear at the Democratic convention in 2000 to sing the National Anthem (a happy event not mentioned by Downes)? There he was, an American interned during World War II, charming the Staples Center audience and, as I recall, even sporting a pony tail! And, unlike Bill Clinton earlier that week, he never bowed to the delegates.
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