There is no denying the fact that there is a lack of Asian American representation in the media today. There certainly have been those that have made it big in the industry, but often times they are portrayed in stereotypical ways. Similar to our recent feature story about Matthew Moy’s character Han Lee in the CBS comedy 2 Broke Girls, FOX’s new sitcom Dads has already stirred up controversy amongst some viewers.
Seth Macfarlane’s comedy Dads began to receive harsh feedback with the release of it’s promo pilot which presented actress Brenda Song in a sexy Asian schoolgirl outfit, along with other racial and sexual stereotypes. Martin Mull’s character refers to Asians as “Orientals,” right after he tells his son he did not trust Chinese people and “there’s a reason Shanghai is a verb.” In response to this, the Media Action Network for Asian Americans have written a letter with the request of reshooting the scenes deemed racist. “Our community can’t continue to be the target of racially insensitive jokes. FOX has an opportunity to fix fatal flaws in the pilot and to improve the show’s chances for success when it premieres next month,” MANAA’s founding president, Guy Aoki wrote in a letter to the network.
FOX has denied this request to reshoot scenes and instead has pleaded with the organization to give their show a chance and watch it develop. “You will see that Brenda Song’s character is a strong, intelligent, empowered young woman who basically runs the company, and who almost always gets the upper hand on the guys,” FOX entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly and Chief Operating Officer Joe Earley wrote.
Will the sitcom be a huge success or will it turn into a racial-insult comedy show? We’ll definitely be keeping an eye out once the show premieres in early September.