Balls Mills, PA -- The owners of a traveling amusement show in Central Pennsylvania are facing heat over a decision to ban Asians from participating in the carnival's popular age guessing game.
Avid funfair goer Binlu Chen, who is 54 but looks about 17, found out about the Budwick & Chase Amusement Fair's unsavory new policy over the weekend when he went to the "Guess My Age" booth and was roundly denied by the operator, who told him that Asians are not allowed in the age guessing game anymore "because you're all so deceptively youthful."
When Chen went to the on-duty carnival manager to lodge a complaint, he was told the same thing.
"I was really disappointed and upset. The age guessing game is my all-time favorite because I always win it. It's the only reason I go to fairs," said Chen, who went home that day without his usual haul of oversized Pikachu plush dolls.
Carnival co-owner Lance Budwick, 44, denied the decision was racially-motivated and emphasized that it was purely due to the bad economy. "At the end of the day, it boils down to economics. We need to make sure that we are still a profitable enterprise," Budwick said. "We are bad at guessing the age of Asians, so we've decided not to do it anymore."
The Righteous League of Asian-Americans Demanding Equality Now (RLAADEN) disagrees. RLAADEN President Thompson Wang, 39, said they are strongly considering a racial discrimination lawsuit against the owners of Budwick & Chase Amusement Fair.
"Racial discrimination has no place anywhere in this day and age," said Wang. "The decision by this group to ban Asians from their carnival game is highly immoral and unconscionable, and must be righted at all costs."