Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly was undeterred by an Asian American group's concerns with its upcoming sitcom “Dads,” which makes fun of Asians and airs more than one stereotype in its pilot.
Reilly sent a letter to the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, which requested that the network re-shoot “Dads'” first episode before its fall debut, saying that the show must go on, as-is:
You were clear that you don't feel the need to give the show time to develop, based on your experience with another show on another network, but we will continue to ask you to do just that.
Reilly went on to say that pilots are almost always imperfect:
… What you viewed is just the pilot, and pilots are rarely perfect. Some of
the points you've noted will be addressed as our series progress this season …
So there you have it, folks. It's open season on minorities, so long as it's in a pilot, the first show of the season, which determines if a series continues on or gets the can based mostly on ratings.
In this case, “Dads” sucks all around. Its comedy is canned and flat-footed. And we'd be surprised if it survives past episode one.
However, that's not say that a network should air something that clearly offends people, even when it's warned beforehand.
The pilot, as we reported previously, features Brenda Song dressing up as a schoolgirl to curry favor with Chinese businessmen. The Martin Mull character uses the world “oriental.” And he says, “There's a reason Shanghai's a verb.”
Oh, and there's a joke about Asian men having small penises.
This show has it all. Guy Aoki of MANAA responded to Reilly, saying today that if Fox promises the series will evolve beyond this bias, prove it:
… We responded to Fox asking them to show us the succeeding episodes of “Dads” they have already shot.
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