NAAAP ISSUES CALL TO ACTION TO FOX NEWS FOR CHINATOWN SEGMENT
Atlanta, GA; October 8, 2016 – On Oct. 3rd, Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” aired a Jesse Watters video segment presented as a jovial report on Chinese Americans’ views on the U.S. presidential election, but it turned out to be an intentional attempt to ridicule Asian Americans and perpetuate negative stereotypes about Chinese Americans. Not funny.
Racial stereotypes of Chinese Americans and Chinese culture were strewn throughout the video program, including multiple references to martial arts (including mentions of karate, which is a Japanese martial art) and mocking an old Chinese woman and man, both who appeared to not understand English. Fox News exercised poor judgment and careless spite by demeaning an entire community in the U.S. Although this video program depicted Chinese Americans in New York Chinatown, many viewers are likely to extend these denigrating labels across many different Asian communities. In editing and producing this report, the staff dished up many Asian stereotypes that mocked not just Chinese Americans but all Asian Americans, exposing what could be implicit biases against Asian Americans in general. This is disparaging and hurtful towards Asian Americans in the United States.
In the U.S., there are 20 million Asian Americans, constituting approximately 6% of the U.S. population. Chinese Americans are the largest proportion of Asians in the U.S. (approx. 20%). Asians in American society represent almost all of the 48 countries in Asia, which clearly is vast and diverse in culture and language. Asian American buying power in the U.S. is greater than the economies of all but 17 countries worldwide, and slightly greater than the gross domestic product (GDP) of Turkey, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, The Multicultural Economy 2015.
Many Asians in the U.S. are recent immigrants, doing their best to thrive and contribute in American society, often times having to stave off subtle and overt attempts to belittle one’s dignity and worth. The Jesse Watters Fox News video segment has portrayed diminishing and hurtful stereotypes of Chinese Americans on a world stage, and has likely perpetuated the cavalier arrogance label that some people in other countries have about the United States. Bill O’Reilly’s declaration of this video program as “gentle fun” while demeaning an entire race is irresponsible and disgusting. There was nothing “gentle” about this.
NAAAP – the National Association of Asian American Professionals – is one of North America’s oldest and largest professional association focused on building leadership capabilities among Asian Americans. We are outraged by this senseless reporting. We call on Fox News to apologize for this reckless reporting and to implement a response to undo the negative labeling of Asian Americans that Fox News has implanted in the minds of its viewers.
From the leaders of NAAAP – the National Association of Asian American Professionals