Fox News, and it’s show the “O’Reilly Factor,” have reputations for lacking journalistic integrity and promoting racist views. However, the network’s latest stunt went far beyond the usual.
The show, which is hosted by Bill O’Reilly, aired a very controversial segment featuring correspondent Jesse Watters’ venture into New York City’s Chinatown.
On the surface, Watters' visit was meant to gain insight from regular people on their feelings about the election and Donald Trump.
But, it was really just a tasteless ploy to exploit Asian-Americans and demean their culture.
The segment starts off with stereotypical Chinese music, and then displays a montage of movie clips showing Asian actors speaking in heavily exaggerated accents.
Watters, using the common “man on the street” interview approach, walks up to random men and women — some who don’t even speak English — and proceeds to mock them with racist questions such as “Do you know karate?” and “Is Chinese food in China just food?”
Even the questions he asked that pertained to the election were just setting them up to look foolish.
For example, he asked one young woman who she was going to vote for and when she said Hillary Clinton, Watters responded nonchalantly, “So China can keep ripping us off,” to which the woman hesitantly replied, “I guess.”
After the segment played, O’Reilly and Watters debriefed about his experience in Chinatown, at which Point O’Reilly sarcastically said that most of the participants understood the current political discourse.
Watters continued on his stereotypical path by asserting, “They’re such a polite people. They won’t walk away or tell me to get out of here. They just sit there and say nothing!” — which is a kindness he took advantage of in order to obtain “funny” material for his segment.
While Watters insists that the piece was “all in good fun,” many Asian-Americans and others strongly disagree.
Somehow not shocked that anti-Asian racism is a-OK with Jesse Watters and Fox News. https://t.co/De6z0I8a3z— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) October 5, 2016
This Fox segment on Chinatown is racist and fails so hard at being funny. Is there a worse combo? https://t.co/lhmyOz9V68— Jessica Prois (@JessicaProis) October 5, 2016
The Asian American Journalists Association has demanded an apology from the network, according to Mother Jones.
“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," the organization wrote in a statement. "Sadly, Fox News proves it has a long way to go in reporting on communities of color in a respectful and fair manner.”
Fox News has yet to offer a response, but their stance is pretty clear based on the fact that they thought it was okay to air this material in the first place.
Banner Photo Credit: YouTube Screengrab