I saw this on 8 Asians.
And here’s Angry Asian Man’s side: I am being threatened with an Angry Asian lawsuit.
Angry Asian Man is a popular blogger, and I’m not surprised that much of the Asian blogosphere is jumping in to support him. Plus, he’s a dude, and well, male privilege. But in any dispute, I think we have to step back and look at it from the legal aspect, not the popularity aspect.
So here’s my two cents:
From Lela’s description, it seems to me that there may have been numerous violations of her trademark, intentional or not. The names and themes are both very similar, and it does look like the male Angry was “inspired” by the female Angry, which is why (I’m assuming) that there was talk about transitioning to a new name, such as “mad, mad Asian dude” or “Angry Asian America.” (Personally, I think Angry Asian America isn’t a bad name. I actually like it better than Angry Asian Man.) It looks like she relies on her brand as a professional artist, so I can understand her anger over the similarities.
Still, I think Angry Asian Man also raises a very strong point about Angry Little Asian Girl’s timing. If she knew about it in 2005, it may be hard for her to fight it now. It may be like my neighbor’s fence. If I see my neighbor building a fence that encroaches two feet past my property line, I have to mention it right away. I can’t wait for him to finish building the fence and then demand that he tear it down. It may be true that it wasn’t a problem for the female Angry back then before the male Angry was professional, but I think it was clear where the male Angry was going. It seemed clear to me anyway that he was always headed for the professional ranks, which could mean that she had a duty back then to contact her lawyer. It doesn’t look good that she blogged for him in 2013, long after he was already a big name in the AA blogosphere.
Anyway, I’m not a lawyer. I can understand Lela’s claim that it dilutes her brand, but I can also appreciate that Phil has spent 14 years building his. Hopefully they can find a resolution.