Fox News Chinatown video criticized as racist
A recent O'Reilly Factor "Watters World" segment on Chinatown is being widely criticized as anti-Asian and racist. In introducing the field piece, which aired on Monday, Oct. 3, in which Jesse Watters, who often does man-on-the-street interviews, ventures to the New York City neighborhood, Bill O'Reilly said that because China was mentioned so much at the first presidential debate, he wanted to "sample political opinion" in New York's Chinatown.
In his piece, Watters is shown asking people questions like "Am I supposed to bow to say hello?" and "Is it the year of the Dragon?"
After asking one street vendor if the watches they were selling were "hot," meaning "stolen," the segment cut to a clip of Mr. Miyagi — who was Japanese — in The Karate Kid.
He asked one elderly woman a question, and when she was silent with her answer a clip was interspersed of a woman shouting, "Speak! Speak! Why don't you speak?"
"Can you guys take care of North Korea for us?" he asked one woman. Watters also tried to spar with a taekwondo (traditionally a Korean martial art) instructor. And Fox News put English subtitles on a clip of a man who spoke English coherently.
At the end of the segment, O'Reilly and Watters laughed about the interviews. O'Reilly said that people didn't walk away from Watters because they are patient and "don't have anything else to do."
"It's gentle fun, so I know we're going to get letters," O'Reilly said, adding that backlash would be inevitable.
A Fox News spokesperson pointed The Hollywood Reporter to recent comments from Jesse Watters, in which he said he doesn't set out to upset people.
"I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings," he told Independent Journal Review last November.
"Listen, any time anybody gets annoyed or emotional on television, it makes for good television," he said in another interview last December. "I enjoy different types of people, from different parts of the country, from different ways of life. I try to make it enjoyable for the person I'm interviewing. We always come away from the interview all smiles, for the most part. And it's always fun to come back and look at the footage and say, 'Oh my gosh, what just happened?'"
Well in terms of the Chinatown video, critics of Watters say that what just happened was racism. Here's a look at some of the reaction on social media: