Yesterday, news broke of one of the most appallingly racist anti-Asian segments that aired on Fox News on October 3, 2016 of Fox News correspondent, Jesse Watters, as he walked through New York City’s Chinatown and filmed a series of mocking interviews with Asian-Americans.
The five-minute segment of “Watters’ World” managed to squeeze as many anti-Asian remarks as possible. With the instrumental version of “Kung Fu Fighting” playing in the background, Watters approaches two young women saying, “Am I supposed to bow to say hello?” To a street vendor, he questions if his products are stolen by remarking, “I like these watches–are they hot?” To an elderly woman, he asks, “Trump has been beating up on China; how does that make you feel?” When she doesn’t answer, the segment cuts to a movie clip of a woman yelling, “Speak! Speak! Why don’t you speak?” Other questions include, “Do you know karate?” “Do they call Chinese food in China just food?” “Is everything made in China now?” After the interview segment with host Bill O’Reilly, Watters explains, “It was all in good fun.”
Understandably, people are outraged by the blatantly racist segment.
The Asian-American Journalists Association demanded an apology from the network, stating
“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. Sadly, Fox News proves it has a long way to go in reporting on communities of color in a respectful and fair manner.
Host Bill O’Reilly called the segment “gentle fun.” There was nothing gentle or fun about it. It was rude, offensive, mocking, derogatory and damaging.
Fox missed a real opportunity to investigate the Asian American vote, a topic not often covered in mainstream news.
With a population of 15 million, Asian Americans remain the fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S. Between 2000-2010, our community grew by 45 percent, compared to 10 percent for the overall U.S. population.
While the largest Asian American communities continue to be in states like New York, California, and Hawaii, the fastest growing populations of Asian Americans include potential swing states like Nevada, Arizona, and North Carolina.
There has been tremendous growth of Asian American representation throughout government. There are now over 600 elected officials at all levels, according to the National Asian Pacific American Political Almanac.
We deserve far better treatment and coverage than we’ve been given by this Fox News report.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted his disgust:
The vile, racist behavior of Fox’s Jesse Watters in Chinatown has no place in our city. @FoxNews – keep this guy off TV.
— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) October 6, 2016
A petition has been made for Fox news to:
1. Issue an immediate apology and retraction for the Watters’ World: Chinatown segment.
2. Cancel “Watters’ World” segments and/or scheduled specials from future broadcast.
3. Agree to a meeting between representatives of the Asian American community and Fox News executives, ‘O’Reilly Factor’ producers, ‘O’Reilly Factor’ host Bill O’Reilly and correspondent Jesse Watters to discuss the impact of on-air racism towards viewers, as well as next steps to address this issue, and the broader underrepresentation and misrepresentation of the Asian American community at Fox News. This meeting must take place within 90 days of the segment’s original air date (October 3, 2016).
A protest has also been planned for 4 p.m. on Thursday in front of the Manhattan headquarters of Fox News.
Source: NY Times