The Asian American Journalists’ Association just broke the news that The O’Reilly Factor‘s Executive Producer David Tabacoff has agreed to a sit-down meeting with AAJA and other representatives of the Asian American community at the NYC Chinatown’s Museum of Chinese in America.
Well, O’Reilly can no longer claim that to be true. Last Thursday, in the wake of several public statements issued by AAPI advocacy groups, I created a Change.org petition to help amplify the community’s outcry against Fox News, The O’Reilly Factor, and ‘Watters’ World’.
In less than 96 hours, the petition had accumulated nearly 20,000 signatures. Today, four copies of the full petition arrived at Fox News headquarters. The petition copies were sent by courier to: Jay Wallace, Executive Vice President of News & Programming; David Tabacoff, Executive Producer of The O’Reilly Factor, Bill O’Reilly, and correspondent Jesse Watters.
In total, each petition contained over 220 pages listing thousands of the petition’s supporters. Each petition weighed nearly four pounds.
In the middle of heated racial tensions and xenophobia permeating the U.S., Asian Americans found ourselves unexpectedly in the spotlight, thanks to Jesse Watters’ racist Chinatown segment which aired last Monday on Fox News’ darling show, The O’Reilly Factor. In that segment, Watters went to New York’s Chinatown supposedly to interview Chinese Americans regarding their political opinions.
The segment consists of condescending, unserious and flippant interviews Jesse Watters conducted with Chinese Americans — and, in fact, one Japanese American whom Watters assumed was Chinese American. Watters starts out by questioning his interviewees regarding the upcoming presidential election, and the rest of the clip shows Watters haughtily treating his interviewees as stereotypical Asians. The stereotyping includes asking a man Watters assumes to be Chinese if he knows Karate, which is from Japan. Elsewhere, Watters asks two young Asian ladies if he needed to bow before talking to them, as if they are Asians from Western movies. The most insulting parts were, probably, Watters asking older Asians (who, in all honesty, look like people who don’t understand English well) about their opinions on Trump; Fox News ridiculed these seniors’ inability to answer with awkward cricket sounds.
On October 9, 2016’s episode of Fox News Sunday, Bill O’Reilly was asked about a ‘Watters’World’ segment aired on O’Reilly Factor on October 3, 2016 that has been widely denounced as racist towards the Asian American community. Unsurprisingly, O’Reilly defended the segment and its creator, Fox News correspondent Jesse Watters, saying that the segment “wasn’t over the line.”
After airing a brief excerpt from the ‘Watters’ World’ segment, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked O’Reilly for his comment on criticisms of racism. What follows is Media Matters’ video and transcript of the exchange.