A Fox News correspondent criticized for mocking Asian-Americans during his man-on-the-street interviews in New York City’s Chinatown has expressed “regret” on Twitter, but U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, says he’s not welcome to Honolulu’s Chinatown.
“Jesse Watters is unfunny and mean,” Schatz said in a Tweet. “He should be ashamed of himself. Also, he’s not welcome to Honolulu Chinatown.”
Jesse Watters is unfunny and mean. He should be ashamed of himself. Also, he's not welcome to Honolulu Chinatown.
Schatz is referring to a segment on “The O’Reilly Show” called “Watters’ World,” which aired Monday. In the piece – which was inspired by how frequently presidential candidate Donald Trump mentioned China in the first debate -- Watters is featured interviewing passersby and asking them their opinions of Trump and Clinton.
The nearly five-minute piece, however, is interlaced with short clips from movies like “The Karate Kid,” footage of Watters getting a foot massage, and questions that could be seen as stereotyping Asians – all with the instrumental version of “Kung Fu Fighting” in the background.
Among some the questions: Is it the year of the dragon … rabbit? Am I supposed to bow to say hello? Is everything made in China now? Do they call Chinese food in China just "food"?
The segment prompted backlash over social media, with many calling it racist. The Asian-American Journalists Association also issued a statement demanding an apology from Fox News.
“The segment was billed as a report on Chinese Americans’ views on the U.S. presidential election but it was rife with racist stereotypes, drew on thoughtless tropes and openly ridiculed Asian Americans,” the statement said. “We deserve far better treatment and coverage than we’ve been given by this Fox News report.”
Although Fox News never publicly apologized, Watters tweeted on Wednesday, “My man-on-the-street interviews are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek and I regret if anyone found offense.”
My man-on-the-street interviews are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek and I regret if anyone found offense.