New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) took to Twitter Wednesday evening to demand that Fox News’ Jesse Watters be kept off TV after a recent “Watters’ World” segment on "The O’Reilly Factor" was characterized as racist by critics.
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
In the segment, Watters visited New York's Chinatown neighborhood to conduct man-on-the-street interviews with passersby about the presidential campaign and Chinese-U.S. relations. Watters asked questions such as “Am I supposed to bow to say hello?” and “Do they call Chinese food in China just food?”
Some Twitter users objected to the segment.
How many Asian racist tropes can Fox News fit into one news segment? Let’s find out https://t.co/VjdzuwcJQF— Andrew Ba Tran (@abtran) October 5, 2016
How much trolling, anti-Asian racism can you pack into one news segment? More than I ever thought possible: https://t.co/tm0a1ezEky— Suzy Khimm (@SuzyKhimm) October 5, 2016
It’s 2016. Here is a person from Fox News going to Chinatown and asking people if they know karate. https://t.co/YAC8kiM2up— Andrew Keh (@andrewkeh) October 5, 2016
The Asian American Journalists Association issued a statement demanding an apology for the segment, which they said “committed a litany of offenses.”
The statement said, in part:
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.
Watters addressed the controversy on Twitter, writing that his segments are “meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek.”
As a political humorist, the Chinatown segment was intended to be a light piece, as all Watters World segments are.— Jesse Watters (@jessebwatters) October 5, 2016
My man-on-the-street interviews are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek and I regret if anyone found offense.— Jesse Watters (@jessebwatters) October 5, 2016
Watch the original segment below:
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