Fox News is being called racist and offensive after O’Reilly Factor correspondent Jesse Watters aired his most recent installment of his segment “Watters’ World.” During the segment, Watters went to Chinatown in NYC to speak to Asian voters; however, what ensued was nothing short of Asian mockery.
In the segment, Watters went to Chinatown to ask people their thoughts on the 2016 election and China-U.S. relations. Yet, somehow the conversation morphed into stereotypical questions, including, "Do you know karate?" and "Can you guys take care of North Korea for us?" Watters also approached elderly individuals who gave limited responses because they could not speak English.
As soon as the segment was posted online, many viewers and non-viewers called out the channel for its racism.
“The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is outraged and shocked by the Oct. 3rd segment of ‘Watters’ World’ on Fox News’ ‘The O’Reilly Factor.’ The segment was billed as a report on Chinese Americans’ views on the U.S. presidential election but it was rife with racist stereotypes, drew on thoughtless tropes and openly ridiculed Asian Americans…The segment used clips of martial arts movies and interviewed Asian Americans whose primary language isn’t English in order to mock them…It’s 2016. We should be far beyond tired, racist stereotypes and targeting an ethnic group for humiliation and objectification on the basis of their race…We deserve far better treatment and coverage than we’ve been given by this Fox News report.
AAJA MediaWatch demands an apology from Fox News to our community and a meeting with the show’s producers to understand how this segment was conceived and greenlit to air. More importantly, we want an explanation for how this type of coverage will be prevented in the future.”
Watters and O’Reilly both commented that the segment is harmless fun and should not be treated as serious offense.
According to the AAJA, Fox News invited journalists from the association on the show to discuss the segment, but the AAJA had different plans.
“We appreciate the invitation to educate Bill O’Reilly and his audience on the offensive nature of the ‘Watters’ World’ segment. However, we believe meaningful engagement can occur only if there is significant dialogue not just with us but with the broader community. Therefore we respectfully decline Mr. Tabacoff’s invitation and instead propose a solution we believe can facilitate such a dialogue. AAJA would like to extend an invitation to participate in a dialogue between Fox News staff and the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities at a town hall, which we will host in New York’s Chinatown. We encourage Jesse Watters, his producers and other Fox News staff to attend. It will be this Sunday afternoon in Chinatown. Exact time and location details to follow.”
This certainly is not the first time the news channel has been in hot water for saying something racist or has denied their racist statements. However, perhaps if we hold the network more accountable, legitimate changes can be made to their programming.
How do you feel about the segment? Was it racist or meant to be a joke? Let us know in the comment section below.
(Photo: FOX News)