Fox Chi­na­town piece stirs out­cry

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By HONG XIAO in New York xi­ao­hong@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

A Fox News seg­ment that makes fun of Asian stereo­types is caus­ing out­rage, and it’s spread from the in­ter­net to the streets.

On Mon­day night, Fox News re­porter Jesse Wat­ters aired flip man-on-the-street in­ter­views with peo­ple in New York City’s Chi­na­town about the 2016 elec­tion and USChina re­la­tions for a seg­ment called Wat­ters’ World! on The O’Reilly Fac­tor pro­gram.

In the five-minute seg­ment, Wat­ters teased el­derly Asians who don’t un­der­stand English, made fun of res­i­dents’ ac­cents, greeted peo­ple with a bow and, in some eyes, re­in­forced some of the most pe­jo­ra­tive stereo­types of Asians.

The seg­ment caused an out­burst on­line, ne­ti­zens call­ing the piece of­fen­sive and racist on so­cial me­dia.

On Thurs­day af­ter­noon, officials and com­mu­nity lead­ers in­clud­ing New York state Assem­bly­man Ron Kim, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Con­gress­woman Grace Meng, Pub­lic Advocate Leti­tita James and mem­bers of the Black, Puerto Ri­can, His­panic and Sian Cau­cus gathered in front of Fox News head­quar­ters in New York to protest the Wat­ters’ World piece.

“The seg­ment crossed the line,” said Meng.

“This pub­lic mock­ing of Chi­nese in­di­vid­u­als was of­fen­sive and dis­re­spect­ful to Asian Amer­i­cans, and it only pro­mul­gated the neg­a­tive stereo­types that Asian Amer­i­cans un­for­tu­nately con­tinue to en­dure.”

“This of­fen­sive, racist seg­ment was some­how created and ap­proved to be broad­cast into the homes of mil­lions of peo­ple,” said Kim. “In pass­ing off its de­mean­ing stereo­types and shame­ful ig­no­rance as ‘all in good fun’, it only fur­ther in­sults the en­tire Asian-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity.”

“New York is home to some of the most di­verse com­mu­ni­ties in the world, and we know that our dif­fer­ences make us stronger, not weaker,” said Stringer. “This seg­ment is de­spi­ca­ble. There’s no place in our city for big­otry, and ev­ery New Yorker de­serves an apol­ogy from those re­spon­si­ble.”

“Asian Amer­i­cans add to the rich and di­verse fab­ric of Amer­i­can life, and the Asian-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity should never be treated as sec­ond­class cit­i­zens for the amuse­ment of oth­ers,” said Meng.

The group called on Fox News to is­sue an apol­ogy and re­tract the seg­ment, as well as hold the in­di­vid­u­als in­volved in pro­duc­ing it re­spon­si­ble.

Wat­ters twit­tered two posts on Wed­nes­day, say­ing, “The Chi­na­town seg­ment was in­tended to be a light piece” and the in­ter­views were meant to be taken as tonguein-cheek and he “re­grets it” if any­one took of­fense.

“We de­mand a real apol­ogy, not just ‘re­grets’,” said Coun­cil­woman Mar­garet Chin.

“Jesse Wa­ters has used his na­tion­wide mega­phone enough times to stereo­type women, African Amer­i­cans and now Chi­nese Amer­i­cans. This hate­ful form of ‘en­ter­tain­ment’ has no busi­ness be­ing on a news pro­gram,” she added.

The group sub­mit­ted an of­fi­cial let­ter to the CEO of Fox News LLC, Ru­pert Mur­doch, de­mand­ing an im­me­di­ate pub­lic apol­ogy and re­trac­tion of the seg­ment from their on­line sites.

“Enough is enough,” the let­ter reads. “Our com­mu­ni­ties will no longer tol­er­ate Bill O’Reilly or any­one at Fox News who hides their racism with spine­less ex­cuses like ‘it was all in good fun’.

“Chi­na­towns are a sto­ried part of Amer­i­can his­tory, not a prop for Mr. O’ Reilly and Mr. Wat­ters to show their xeno­pho­bia and prej­u­dice against an en­tire race.”

HONG XIAO / CHINA DAILY

Con­gress­woman Grace Meng joins elected officials and com­mu­nity lead­ers in front of Fox News head­quar­ters to protest a seg­ment on the O’Reilly Fac­tor pro­gram that they feel mocked res­i­dents of Chi­na­town. Meng said that the Asian-Amer­i­can com­mu­nity should never be treated as sec­ond-class cit­i­zens for the amuse­ment of oth­ers.

For more Please scan the QR quote to watch a re­lated video

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