Asian-Americans Fume Over Fox News Chinatown Segment

Of all America's minority groups, Asian-Americans have been traditionally seen as perhaps the most open to Republican overtures. The group has been seen as pro-business and socially conservative.

So it would take some doing to completely alienate the last group of American people of color yet to be completely alienated by the GOP during an election cycle in which Mexican immigrants have been labeled as criminals and African-Americans have been described as "living in hell." The doing appears to have been done, however, by the always GOP-friendly Fox News.

An O’Reilly Factor "Watters' World" segment this week focused on political opinions in New York's Chinatown.  In it, correspondent Jesse Watters asks women if he should bow, wonders aloud if a street vendor's watches are stolen and asks a bystander if he is trained in karate. The segment includes music from a cover of "Kung Fu Fighting" and footage from The Karate Kid.

It was hilarious ... if you're Drunk Uncle.

The segment was introduced as a response to Donald Trump's constant criticism of our trade with China, including his contention that manufacturing there is putting Americans out of work. At one point Watters asks a woman if she can think of anything that's not made in China. Of course, global trade in a postwar world has ultimately been good for the United States. And Trump has vowed to cut profit-draining government regulation of business while, paradoxically, forcing businesses, like Apple, to manufacture goods stateside.

Watters, on Twitter, tried to defend the segment by saying he's a "political humorist" and that it was a "light piece" intended to be "tongue-in-cheek."

Many prominent Asian-Americans weren't laughing. They were, rather, fuming following the airing of the Fox News segment Monday. Writer Jenn Fang led the charge, calling it "a jaw-droppingly racist segment."

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat who represents most of the L.A. County coastline, agreed. "Your recent segment mocking Asian-American voters and using every conceivable stereotype was, at best, racist and, at worst, really racist," he said, aiming his remarks at "Bill O'Reilly and Fox News."

"I am not 'patient' or 'gentle,' nor do I 'bow' when I say hello or know 'karate,'" he said. "So let me gently say this: If you are not racist at heart, then you would apologize. Immediately."

Good luck with that.

The national Asian American Journalists Association, founded in Los Angeles in 1981, expressed "outrage" and demanded from Fox News an explanation, an apology and a vow that this won't happen again.

"It’s 2016," the group said in a statement. "We should be far beyond tired, racist stereotypes and targeting an ethnic group for humiliation and objectification on the basis of their race. Sadly, Fox News proves it has a long way to go in reporting on communities of color in a respectful and fair manner."


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >