Update, 3:01 p.m. EST: The Asian American Journalists Association has demanded an apology for the segment. “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.”
The “O’Reilly Factor” has offered regular racist news segments over the years, but this week, the reliably offensive Fox News show managed to outdo itself when correspondent Jesse Watters ventured down to New York City’s Chinatown to discuss Donald Trump and the 2016 election. The segment, which opens with stereotypical Chinese music, is spliced with movie clips featuring Asian actors speaking in exaggerated accents. Watters approaches a number of men and women in the street, some of them elderly residents who do not speak English. He then silently mocks them for their inability to answer his questions—many of which wander from the presidential race to lame caricatures of Asians masquerading as humor.
“Is food in China just food?”
“Do you know karate?”
Toward the end of the clip, when O’Reilly said it appeared that most of the people understood the dynamics of the current election, Watters laughed: “You thought people knew what was going on?”
“They’re such a polite people,” he said, invoking yet another stereotype. “They won’t walk away or tell me to get out of here. They just sit there and don’t say nothing!”
The segment is actually painful to watch, but nonetheless provides an excellent example of why Asian American support for Republican candidates continues to erode.
O’Reilly admitted there may be some people out there who might be offended by the reporter’s adventures in Chinatown, but Watters reassured him. It was, he said smiling, “all in good fun.”