National Affinity Bar Associations Join AAPIs in Demanding Apology from Fox News for Watters’ World Segment

Jesse Watters interviews people in NYC's Chinatown during a segment that aired on October 3, 2016. (Photo credit: Fox News)
Jesse Watters interviews people in NYC’s Chinatown during a segment that aired on October 3, 2016. (Photo credit: Fox News)

The Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National LGBT Bar Association (National LGBT Bar), the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) and the National Bar Association (NBA) issued a joint statement late last week expressing support for efforts by the AAPI community to hold Fox News accountable for a segment of Watters’ World that aired in early October and which has been widely decried as racist against the Asian American community.

Combined, the five Affinity Bar Associations represent nearly two hundred thousand Black, Hispanic, AAPI, Native and LGBT lawyers and hundreds of local chapters across the country.

In the statement released publicly on Friday and sent to Fox News headquarters, the coalition of Affinity Bar Associations expressed “deep dissatisfaction” with Fox News’ failure to adequately address charges of racism. The coalition added their voices to the growing chorus insisting that Fox News meet the demands outlined in a recent joint letter signed by 120+ AAPI organizations. That letter was delivered, along with a petition signed by over 20,000 community members, to Fox News representatives earlier this month.

The full text of the Affinity Bars’ press statement is below:

National Coalition of Affinity Bar Associations Join Asian Pacific American Community in Expressing Disappointment in Fox News Segment “Watters’ World” segment in Chinatown relied on stereotypes

WASHINGTON — Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Bar Association (NBA), the National LGBT Bar Association (National LGBT Bar), and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) joined a national coalition of organizations expressing their indignation in the segment, “Watters’ World: Chinatown Edition,” and deep dissatisfaction in public statements that dismiss community concerns over the offensive nature of the segment.

In October, Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor aired “Watters’ World: Chinatown Edition,” which featured Jesse Watters speaking with residents of New York City’s Chinatown — including some who do not appear to be native English speakers — with questions, many of which were only nominally related to the Presidential election and instead were based on racial and ethnic stereotypes.

“We found this segment to be highly offensive for its irresponsible use of these stereotypes and for its pejorative mischaracterization of Chinatown residents, immigrants, and limited English proficient communities,” said the presidents of the bar associations in a letter to Fox News.

“We join a coalition of Asian Pacific American organizations who call on Fox News to issue a written formal apology. We also encourage Fox News to take steps to increase understanding of implicit bias and to increase workforce diversity and inclusion,” said the presidents in their message.

The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 50,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding three decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.

NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of minority attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit

Founded in 1973, the NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.

In addition to a formal written apology, the organizations also demand sensitivity training for Fox employees, and greater measures to ensure fair representation of minorities both in front of and behind the cameras at Fox News.

This statement by a multiracial coalition of national Affinity Bar Associations is crucial evidence that the racism of the Watters’ World: Chinatown Edition segment offends not just the AAPI community, but all organizations committed to anti-racism work. This latest development shows the nation’s most prominent associations to represent Black, Hispanic, AAPI, Native, and LGBT lawyers united in their stance against racism by Fox News.

The AAPI community and our allies continues to await, with increasing impatience, a timely response from Fox News on our demands.

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