In what could be one of the most ethnically-insensitive four and a half minutes of modern cable television, a segment on the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” visited Chinatown in New York for on-the-street interviews. The interviewer, Jesse Watters, spewed ignorance-driven insults and racially insensitive slurs at every chance during his segment.
Host Bill O’Reilly introduced the segment to “sample political opinion” in the chosen area. However, after a couple of questions to a few random Asians on who they intended to vote for, the clip turned into the most abhorrent display of racism thinly veiled as comedy.
“Am I supposed to bow to say hello?” Watters asked an interviewee.
To a street vendor, he said, “I like these watches. Are they hot?”
Interspersed with random scenes from movies with Asians in them (mostly Japanese), the segment seemed to have purposely played ignorance on differentiating Asians.
At one point in the video, he chose an elderly woman and asked how she felt on Donald Trump speaking against China.
When she just smiled in response, either avoiding his question or unable to answer, a clip of a screaming woman urging someone to speak was played to mock the woman for either not responding or for thinking too long to do so.
The insulting scene was repeated with an elderly man who was unable to respond to Watters’ question with cricket sounds played for effect to undermine the non-response.
“Do they call Chinese food in China just ‘food?’” he asked a Chinese lady.
He was also shown soliciting Asian establishments for traditional Chinese herbs “for performance” at a medicine store.
He was then seen taking on a Tae Kwon Do instructor at a Dojang (Korean Martial Arts school) interspersed with asking an Asian guy if he knew Karate.
After asking some Asian women if they wanted to party, he was immediately shown exhibiting exaggerated facial expressions while having his foot massaged by an Asian woman.
O’Reilly and his field reporter made a few condescending observations of how the interview went.
“Seems like everybody was aware of what’s going on. Some people say it’s very insulated and don’t interact with American politics but it looked like everyone knew what was going on,” O’Reilly mockingly said.
“You thought people knew what was going on?” Watters replied, holding laughter.
In the end, O’Reilly calls it “gentle fun,” to which Watters agreed.
“I know we’re gonna get letters,” said O’Reilly, who seemed to acknowledge how tasteless the segment was.
[Update 10-5-16 5:07 p.m. PST] Jesse Watters issues the biggest non-apology ever.
Sorry Mr. Watters, but no one finds you funny.