Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fox News meets with Asian/Americans over offfensive Chinatown report

O'Reilly Factor 'reporter' Jesse Watters tried to interview a non-English speaking passerby in 
New York's Chinatown in his racially offensive segment.

By Louis Chan

TWO FOX NEWS executives met with representatives of the Asian American Journalists Association and other groups in New York yesterday (Oct. 25).

The meeting was called in response to the huge backlash after Chinese seniors were ridiculed and several stereotypes were resurrected on a Watters’ World segment aired during The O’Reilly Factor October 3.

The groups presented Fox with an open letter signed by 134 national, state and local organizations demanding a written apology to the AAPI community, diversity and sensitivity training at Fox News, a multi-part story more fairly representative of the Asian American community produced in consultation with veteran AAPI journalists, a commitment to double the number of AAPI guests on Fox to 4 percent and to increase the number of AAPI producers and reporters to 10 percent, and a commitment to meet annually with the AAPI community.


The meeting was private and there was no public comment from Fox News. The names of the Fox representatives were also not released.

The tone coming out of the meeting from the AAPI groups was overall positive.

“The meeting was an open dialogue between the community and Fox News and we felt it was productive,” said Paul Cheung, president of AAJA, to AsAmNews.

“I sincerely hope that today’s events lay the groundwork for a fruitful and lasting conversation between Fox News and the AAPI community on issues of inclusion and diversity,” added Jenn Fang of the blog Reappropriate.

“We appreciate the opportunity to meet with Fox News today,” said Karin Wang, Vice-President of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles. “The segment clearly struck a nerve with Asian Americans of all ethnic backgrounds and reached far beyond New York City. We have conveyed this widespread and national anger and frustration to Fox News executives and we look forward to their response.”

Christopher Kang, National Director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans echoed those sentiments.

“The outpouring of support for this call to action–from across the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, including many student organizations, and beyond–is a powerful demonstration of the widespread outrage and hurt this racist segment has caused.”

New York Assemblymember Ron Kim also attended the meeting. He told The Washington Post that both sides have committed to meeting again in November. 
He said that the group presented the men with the open letter, and that they were “taken aback” by the display.

The person from the news side of the channel, said Kim, “tried to empathizse with the community’s anger and frustration and figure out ways to continue to meet in a structured way to promote some of the lack diversity and how we can alleviate that as a community.”

Among the specific points raised by the group was the diversity of voices on Fox News.

Kim said that the network is particularly deficient on this front with respect to Asian-Americans on its broadcasts. “They’re very agreeable to increase that number,” says Kim.

Kim came away thinking that the two Fox News reps “didn’t understand the gravity of the situation.”  (Views From the Edge contributed to this report.)