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'O'Reilly Factor' Chinatown Segment Called Racist by Lawmakers, Asian American Journalists


Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” is receiving backlash for a segment of his show where correspondent Jesse Watters traveled to New York City’s Chinatown to essentially perpetuate racist stereotypes.

O’Reilly prefaces the “Watters’ World” segment by saying, “In the first presidential debate, China was mentioned 12 times, mostly in a negative way, especially by Donald Trump. So we sent Watters down to New York’s Chinatown to sample political opinion.”

The segment then opened with stereotypical Chinese music, foreshadowing the intention of the interviews and the offensive direction it would take.

Wattersasked a young woman which candidate she will vote for in the presidential election.

She answered, “I really don’t wanna vote for Trump, so Hillary.”

He responded, “So China can keep ripping us off”

Watters asked various Asian Americans an array of offensive cultural questions, including: “Do they call Chinese food in China just ‘food'” “Is it the year of the Dragon Rabbit” “Am I supposed to bow to say hello” “Tell me what’s not made in China” “Do you know karate” and “How do they dance in China” The segment was spliced with movie clips featuring Asian actors speaking in embellished accents.

View the segment:

When the segment ended, O’Reilly said it was “gentle fun” and “I know we’re gonna get letters.”

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is demanding an apology from Fox News.The organization contacted executive producer of “The O’Reilly Factor” David Tabacoff, who invited AAJA President Paul Cheung to appear on Friday’s show to discuss the organization’s concerns.

AAJA declined, stating:

“We believe meaningful engagement can occur only if there is significant dialogue not just with us, but with the broader community.

“Therefore, we respectfully decline Mr. Tabacoff’s invitation and instead propose a solution we believe can facilitate such a dialogue.”

AAJA is hosting a town hall Sunday between 2 and 4 p.m. at the Museum of Chinese in America in Chinatown and has invited Fox News staff members to participate in a conversation with the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities.

“We encourage Jesse Watters, his producers and other Fox News staff members to attend,” the organization stated.

Appalled by the “Watters’ World” segment, Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA), the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress and chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, tweeted on Wednesday:

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted:

On Wednesday, Watters tweeted in response to the backlash:

Related Story: Slavery Wasn’t Really That Bad for Some Slaves, Says Fox News’ O’Reilly

Fox News is no stranger to controversy, nor is O’Reilly. On his show in July, O’Reilly attempted to correct First Lady Michelle Obama, who during her address at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia reflected on the fact that she and her family “wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.”

In his need to fact-check the first lady, O’Reilly said the “slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802.”

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