Project Anti-Disguise
  September 22, 2004 01:59 PM
Timeline: Asian American Activism, Supercharged.

The following is a timeline of the brief but hyperactive campaign, beginning on Wednesday, October 09, 2002 and ending on October 20, 2002.

  • 10.09.02 - Elbert receives an email from the MANAA list serv about the costume and posts a thread in the YW Forums. By 4:46pm, a decision is made to create an online petition ("I wonder how difficult it would be to get 1,000'd be nice if we could get a sizable number and then officially contact disguise...").
  • 10.10.02 - goes live at 9:59am. Kasie begins to mull the possibilities of threatening a lawsuit. 15 signatures.
  • 10.11.02 - First contact with Disguise: Kasie speaks to a representative via telephone, and is told that the company is sorry for offending Asians and is in the process of recalling the costumes, yet refuses to agree to a timeline or to memorialize their discussion in writing. She informs the representative that the company will have until Friday, October 18 to have the costumes pulled. YW members begin spamming various Asian forums and emailing friends. 103 signatures.
  • 10.12.02 - Kasie mails a certified letter to Disguise, threatening legal action if the costumes are not removed by the 18th. 197 signatures.
  • 10.13.02 - PoliticalCircus publishes an op/ed piece on their front page. sends an email claiming they'll do what they can. No response from Disguise. 438 signatures.
  • 10.14.02 - The online blitz and PoliticalCircus piece begin to pay off. No response from Disguise. 1114 signatures.
  • 10.15.02 - OCA announces their support, and that they have planned a protest for the 18th at the Disguise corporate office. Party City claims it isn't carrying the costume anymore. NBC in San Diego and San Francisco request local interviews for their evening news. YW goes primetime. Still no response from Disguise. 2,899 signatures.
  • 10.16.02 - Morning interviews with The Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle and Sacramento Bee. Disguise hires damage control consultant Christopher Wahl, who contacts Elbert that afternoon and informs him that the company is prepared to issue a nationwide recall by the 18th, but has no way of forcing retailers to comply. Later that afternoon, Disguise leaks their press release to the AP, apologizing for the costume, and trying to effectively kill the campaign's momentum. Kasie sends out a mass email to the YW list serv, indicating that a media apology alone would not be satisfactory. 5,096 signatures.
  • 10.17.02 - Jamie and Danny from Star 98.7 mention the costume and both dismiss its offensiveness. Interviews with the San Diego Tribune and Orange County Register. Christopher Wahl telephones to reassure that Disguise will comply. Disguise executives conference call Kasie, Levin Sy and Christine Chen from OCA to continue negotiations. Elbert and Christopher Wahl continue negotiating for an hour after the meeting. Disguise issues Return Authorization #1115 to its retailers nationwide to recall the costume. 7,098 signatures.
  • 10.18.02 - Talk show host Ted Leitner from 760 KFMB interviews Elbert for his morning show. Kasie and Elbert drive to San Diego for OCA's press conference while continuing to negotiate with Disguise the entire way. The press conference is amicable, and everyone finall got a chance to meet. 8,110 signatures.
  • 10.19.02 - Supporters respond to Yellowworld's call for a weekend investigation of Wal-Green's, Party City and Spencer Gifts to determine whether the costume was still being sold. 8,547 signatures.
  • 10.20.02 - Nearly all of the retailers who still carried the costume prohibited customers from purchasing it, citing the manufacturer's recall. 8,641 signatures.
  • 10.21.02 - The petition closes. 9,000.
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