Friday 09th December 2016,

Asian Americans

Jesse Watters Expresses “Regret” over Chinatown Segment on O’Reilly Factor

posted by Louis Chan

Jesse WattersBy Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent

 
The Asian American community appears united against the stereotype-filled segment with Chinatown residents on Fox News featuring Bill O’Reilly’s sidekick, Jesse Watters.
 
An expression of regret by Watters has not alleviated the hurt or anger.
 
Organizations ranging from the Asian American Journalists Association to APIAVote to the Committee of 100 have issued statements protesting the segment.
 
Fox News has remained silent about the segment, but Watters acknowledged the uproar in a couple of tweets.
 


 


 
In direct response to the tweets, the Asian American Journalists Association’s Media Watch committee wrote”It’s one thing to be “tongue-in-cheek.” It is something entirely different to hide behind the guise of political humor while using racial stereotypes.”
 
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a national coalition of AAPI legal organizations, agreed.
 
“The fact that O’Reilly termed this as “gentle fun” and Watters believed it was “all in good fun” only demonstrates a complete lack of a moral compass. It is unconscionable that a news organization would sanction a segment that laughs at a community of people, including Watters ridiculing elderly Chinese Americans who were limited English proficient.
 


RELATED: New York Chinatown Turned into Comic Fodder by Bill O’Reilly Sidekick

 
Asian American organizations dedicated to political engagement also expressed their rage.
 
“We are shocked and disgusted by the blatant use of disparaging stereotypes against Chinese American and Asian American voters,” said Christine Chen, APIAVote Executive Director. “This year marks the greatest mobilization of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters in history, and for this segment with grossly facetious portrayals of our communities to be aired is inexcusable. The media must cease to depict our communities using racist caricatures and instead properly cover the burgeoning AAPI electorate and increasingly important AAPI vote.”
 
“At a time when China is a serious subject of policy discussion, and Asian Americans are the fastest growing racial minority group, the O’Reilly Factor segment mocks Chinatown residents using every stereotype,” added the Committee of 100. “These included the notions that Asian Americans are not real Americans; that Asians and Asian Americans are too successful and taking over; and that Asians are martial arts experts.”
 
“As Chair Emeritus of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus and as a victim of one of the greatest blemishes on American history – the internment of Japanese Americans – I am determined not to repeat the mistakes of our past,” said Rep Mike Honda (D-San Jose). “We cannot let this kind of blatant ‘yellow’ journalism be acceptable. Fox News, Bill O’Reilly, and the show’s producers must apologize to Asian Americans around the country for airing this racist segment.”
 

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