Karma is amazing.
So-called “guerilla comedians” Justin Selvig and Davram Stiefler posted a video this morning documenting an exchange between Selvig and Fox News correspondent Jesse Watters in Times Square. Watters has been the focus of widespread outrage for a racist anti-Asian segment of his regular feature Watters’ World, which airs weekly on The O’Reilly Factor. The episode — Watters’ World: Chinatown Edition — featured Watters’ using his characteristic “ambush journalism” style against residents of Manhattan’s Chinatown interspersed with references to a range of appallingly anti-Chinese and anti-Asian stereotypes. Since the episode’s airing on October 3, 2016, Watters and Fox News has faced profound backlash, and recently a petition containing 24,000 signatures and an open letter signed by 134 AAPI organizations (both co-organized by this site) were delivered to representatives of Fox News demanding accountability.
Folks have been having a lot of fun at Watters’ expense, too.
Comedy Central’s Daily Show aired a hilariously irreverent segment about the controversy back in early October, and the video quickly went viral both in America and in parts of Asia. Angry Asian Man reported on a home-made viral video by Facebooker Thomas Lai, who recorded himself calling Watters a “piece of shit.” (He also told Watters to go kill himself, which I don’t condone.) Michael Tow of East of Hollywood made a fantastic parody video of the original segment, and it ends in hilarious fashion.
In Selvig’s and Stiefler’s video, Selvig approaches Watters and pitches him new ideas for future Watters’ World segments. They are, says Selvig to Watters, “racist, like you like.”
Selvig and Stiefler have made a career out of pranking political candidates and their campaigns, footage of which they have curated into their latest mockumentary, ‘Undecided’ currently on Netflix. While I don’t really get down with “guerilla comedy” in general, it’s amazing to watch Jesse Watters get a dose of his own shitastic style of ambush comedy in real time.
Jesse Watters needs to hold onto that feeling of chagrin, humiliation and seething rage for the next time he thinks it’s hilarious to use his video camera as a weapon of insensitivity and privilege against marginalized people.