LOS ANGELES Watchdog groups and activists are outraged by a Fox News Channel segment in which an interviewer asked residents of New York’s Chinatown if he was supposed to bow to greet them, if they were selling stolen goods and if they could “take care of North Korea for us”. .”
Several organizations condemned comedian Jesse Watters’ article on “The O’Reilly Factor”, calling it racist and demeaning to Asian Americans.
“It’s 2016. We should go way beyond tired and racist stereotypes and target one ethnic group for humiliation and objectification on the basis of their race,” said Asian Journalists Association president Americans, Paul Cheung, in a letter to Fox and published online. He is director of interactive and digital news production for The Associated Press.
Cheung called on Fox to apologize to the Asian-American community and demanded “an explanation as to how this type of coverage will be prevented in the future.”
Watters asked people on the street about the presidential race, asked for a karate demonstration and showed footage of him getting a pedicure.
At one point in Monday’s nearly five-minute segment, an elderly woman’s silence in response to a question was paired with a clip from Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein” in which Madeline Kahn shouts, “Speak, speak, why don’t you talk?!”
Gregory A. Cendana, executive director of the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, criticized the report.
The cover, including poking fun at the Chinese elder, “played into the exoticism and perpetual outsider status” of the Asian-American community, Cendana said in a statement.
After the “Watters World” report ended, Bill O’Reilly called it “nice fun”, adding, “we’re inevitably going to get some letters.”
On Wednesday, Asian Americans Advancing Justice said it was outraged by “blatant, racist and offensive stereotyping of Chinese Americans.”
“It is unconscionable for a news agency to sanction a segment that pokes fun at a community of people, including Watters ridiculing older Chinese Americans who had little English,” the group said.
Asked to comment, Fox drew attention to two Twitter posts Wednesday from Watters.
“As a political comedian, the Chinatown segment was meant to be a lighthearted piece, as all Watters World segments are,” he wrote.
“My street man interviews are meant to be taken as irony and I’m sorry if anyone found offense,” Watters’ second tweet said.