San Rafael real estate agent Lo Mei Seh was shocked when she saw a theatrical trailer for the hit movie "Juno" in December. In one scene, the title character sarcastically tells the rich suburban couple hoping to adopt her unborn child, "You shoulda gone to China. You know, 'cause I hear they give away babies like free iPods. You know, they pretty much just put them in those T-shirt guns and shoot them out at sporting events."
Seh, the mother of two adopted Chinese girls, noticed a young Asian girl sitting behind her getting noticeably upset and muttering, "That's so mean and unfair."
"I calmed myself down, saying these things are just going to happen, and as a parent I have to teach my children to be strong," she says. But after that particular scene was shown on televised award shows like the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards, she became angry all over again.
"I know some people will say 'lighten up,' but that's not the point," Seh says. "The trailer is misleading" about the complexities of adopting infants from China.
"It's not only hurtful, but harmful," she says.
The irony of the "Juno" line is that adopting from China is very difficult.
The parents also say that the "Juno" line also plays on racist Asian stereotypes in an unacceptable way.
"Could you have made that joke with any other minority?" Scott says. "I don't think so. You'd catch hell."