In a late August post shared on the Chapman law school’s alumni Facebook page, Fowler School of Law alumna Christina Ignatius stereotyped and criticized Asian-Americans in Orange County after watching the movie Crazy Rich Asians.
“(Crazy Rich Asians) reminds me of all of the Asians who flooded into Orange County and then took over our mall at the South Coast Plaza … But now they are trying to get tutoring from me for law school,” Ignatius wrote in the post, which has since been taken down.
Jamie Ceman, Chapman’s vice president of strategic marketing and communications, said in a statement she provided to The Panther that
Ignatius’ post is “regrettable” and “certainly not consistent with the values and beliefs we hold at Chapman University.”
Ignatius also made fun of East Asian accents, writing that those who don’t become docters will turn to her “sucker Caucasian male lawyer friends” who will be “completely poached for dollars and earning potential.”
Her post, which was circulated on social media and by Asian-American news site Next Shark, drew criticism from Susan Kang Schroeder, the chief of staff for Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas.
Schroeder, who was born in Seoul, South Korea, told The Panther that Ignatius should be treated with compassion rather than contempt.
“We’re not talking about being politically incorrect or cracking a racist joke or anything like that,” Schroeder said. “It’s the length she went on and the vitriol she expressed, and to go even further to put it on Facebook.”
Ignatius runs an Irvine-based tutoring business, Law School Tutor. While the business received multiple one-star Google reviews written after her Facebook post, as of Sept. 9, the reviews had been removed.
The Panther reached out to the administrators and the moderator for Chapman’s alumni Facebook page, but did not receive a response. The page no longer appears in a general search.
Nicknaming herself “Tenacious Ignatius,” the lawyer describes herself on her LinkedIn profile as the most “well-known and requested law tutor in the nation.”
Schroeder, who moved to the U.S. 40 years ago, became a prosecutor in 1995, when there were few Asian people in the legal industry, she said.
“I remember when I became a prosecutor, there weren’t many female Asian prosecutors. I was often mistaken for the interpreter or a defense attorney,” she said. “Now, we have the most diverse bar in Orange County history, not only for Asians, but for women. It’s an exciting time where any person who is American can achieve anything.”
Ignatius’ post shouldn’t reflect on the rest of the university’s law graduates, Schroeder said.
“The Orange County (District Attorney Office) has many alumni from Chapman and they’re very good prosecutors,” she said. “Many Chapman law graduates go on to great things … We have many of our own (district attorneys) from Chapman; many superstars from Chapman.”
People should treat Ignatius with pity for her “ignorance,” Schroeder said.
“(Let’s) use this as an opportunity to talk about the great accomplishments of Asian-Americans,” Schroeder said.