New York, N.Y. (Oct. 5, 2016) — Committee of 100 (C100) expresses anger about the Fox Television O’Reilly Factor feature entitled ‘Watters’ World: Chinatown edition’, broadcast on the evening of October 3. It was crudely racist. The individuals who were depicted appear to have been taken advantage of. C100 seeks to hear from the Chinatown residents who were shown on the program, who may have legal recourse against the producers.
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. 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.
Like all Americans, C100 expects better of our opinion leaders. All of us should have a sense of humor and be able to laugh at what is funny, but this piece only repeated cliches and made Asians once again the butt of the joke. Mass media portrayals of Asian Americans affect public attitudes. Whether Asian Americans are accepted as equals in school, at work, and in their neighborhoods, depends on how popular culture depicts them.
C100 calls upon Bill O’Reilly and Jesse Watters to apologize. C100 also appeals to sponsors, many of which no doubt do business in China or with Asian American consumers, to consider whether to support this xenophobic broadcast.
The Committee of 100 is a non-partisan leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts. For over 25 years, the Committee has been committed to a dual mission of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all fields of American life, and encouraging constructive relations between the peoples of the United States and Greater China. Learn more: Committee100.org.