FOX Denies Request to Reshoot “Racist” Scenes in New Sitcom “Dads”

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.

Flight 214 Crash Presents Opportunities for Racism

When the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 jet crashed into San Francisco airlines, you would think that people would understand the seriousness of the situation. You would think that a crash which injured 181 people (22 of which were in critical condition) and killed two individuals would receive feelings of sadness and understanding. You would think that people would send their condolences to the families of the two 16-year-old female Chinese students,Wang Linjia and Ye Mengyuan, who died during the tragic accident.

And if you thought these things, as I had, you’re in for a rude awakening. This time of grievance was robbed by those who took this opportunity to instead show racism.

fright 214The Chicago Sun-Times  angered many for there insensitive word play mocking the Asian accent. Often times, people will mix up the “L” and “R” sound to mock the stereotypical Asian accent. We’ve all heard it before, we simply never expected to see it headlining The Chicago Times- especially for such an inappropriate event.

While some argue that it may have been an unintentional typo, AsAm News is quite certain of the intentions and writes, ”First, its pretty sick to use a play on words in a headline for a tragedy. Secondly, this one’s pretty racist.”

Editor-in-chief and publisher of Sun-Times, Jim Kirk argued, “”There was nothing intentional on our part to play off any stereotypes. …If anybody was offended by that, we are sorry.We were trying to convey the obviously frightening situation of that landing.”


With publications that show such insensitivity, its no surprise that the public follows in their footsteps. Many people voiced their reaction to the tragic accident in an atrocious manner on twitter. These tweets ranged from insults about Asians being unable to drive, small Asian eyes, and even insensitive remarks about North Korea being behind this.

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And while we may be quick to point out the blatant racism towards Asians, we also cannot forget that we are just as capable of such insensitivity.

A Korean newscaster on Channel A, general broadcasting company in South Korea, allegedly reported, “The two deceased passengers were both Chinese. From our stance, it is fortunate.”

Poor choice of words during an insensitive time? Absolutely. The report angered Chinese and Koreans alike and the newscaster made a public apology explaining that he/she only meant that it was fortunate no Koreans were among the deceased.

With such a tragedy on our hands, you would think it wouldn’t be much to ask for some sensitivity with this issue, but more and more we find people using this opportunity to simply show racism and insensitivity.

Tell us what you think below.

(source 1, 2)

Reactions to Racism in an Asian Nail Salon

We’ve all seen the endless jokes about Asians who work in nail salons, massage parlors, and donut shops. This is often an easy target for stand-up comedians such as Anjelah Johnson and her popular skit mimicking the Vietnamese nail salon workers:

Why is it such as easy target? Primarily because such businesses are in fact heavily intertwined in the Asian American community. Its easy for people to make fun of this and yet they don’t take the time to understand that this is a deeply rooted issue for Asian Americans that stems from early immigration into the U.S.  These comedians don’t take the time to understand the hazardous effects that such an environment has on our community (such as chemical exposure from glues, polishes, etc. infecting the nail salon workers). To make matters worse, one of the more popular things to make fun of is the fact that Asians talk about their customers in their own language. Apparently, speaking in one’s native tongue automatically justifies suspicion of gossip.

Needless to say, over the years these places have often become correlated to the Asian American community. So when filming a hidden tv show to try and focus on racism towards Asians, where do they choose to film it? An Asian-owned nail salon, of course.

What Would You do? is an ABC hidden camera television show where actors perform scenarios of conflict in public. The show focuses on the bystanders to see how they react to such situations. Recently, they performed a skit in a nail salon with Asian actors performing as the workers. The Caucasian actress was told to be racially offensive and she performed her task with flying colors. She began to comment rudely on the worker’s quality of life (justifying herself with the fact that the worker didn’t understand English) and went on to make racial comments ranging from Asians being bad drivers, good at math, and all the other Asian stereotypes you can think of.

All this was performed in front of unknowing customers and sure enough, the customers reacted.  I was pleasantly surprised with just how riled up the bystanders were concerning this blatant show of racism. During each instance, the other customers spoke up about the actress’ rudeness. It was evident that her comments were not okay and it is a simple reminder to us that not all is lost. Its easy for us to point out the number of racist instances that our community has endured, but we must not forget that this is not always the case. While this certainly doesn’t fix the larger issue at hand, it is a reminder that there are people who understand what we continuously face.

Check out the What Would  You Do? skit here: