People Are Calling Out This "O'Reilly Factor" Segment For Mocking Asian-Americans

"They're such a polite people, they won't walk away or tell me to get out of here, they just sit there and say nothing," the correspondent said in the segment.

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Updated on

A segment on The O'Reilly Factor that aired Monday has people in disbelief over what they say is its blatant mockery of Asian-Americans.

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The segment shows correspondent Jesse Watters interviewing Asian-American people in New York’s Chinatown on their thoughts on the election, interspersed with movie clips portraying Asian stereotypes.

Those included asking people to teach him how to bow, asking if "everything's made in China," asking whether one person knows karate, and accusing a vendor of selling stolen watches, to name a few.

He also asks two young women "how do they dance in China," and briefly has them dance for him.

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Along with a clip from Austin Powers in Goldmember, which depicts twin Japanese schoolgirls flirting with the main character in an overtly sexualized manner.

At the end of the segment, Bill O'Reilly expressed surprise that it "seemed like everybody was aware of what's going on" even though "some people say it's very insulated and they don't interact with American politics."

"They're such a polite people, they won't walk away or tell me to get out of here, they just sit there and say nothing," Watters said.

The two concluded that it was "gentle fun" and "all in good fun."

People called the segment "jaw-droppingly, disgustingly racist," and could not believe something like this would air in 2016.

When @FoxNews tries to be like @TheDailyShow but winds up being jaw-droppingly, disgustingly racist instead https://t.co/LytRu096zY

1:00 made my stomach turn. To mock an elderly Chinese woman for not speaking English is beyond crass, @jessebwatters https://t.co/FMRb7J4ELh

IT'S TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEEEEEEN THIS IS CRAZY EVEN FOR FOX NEWS https://t.co/1fxuwmbxLq

These kinds of segments are common for Watters, though a Fox News spokesperson declined to comment directly on the segment to BuzzFeed News.

In an Independent Journal Review feature of Watters — which points out he has been called "O'Reilly's horrible sidekick," "Fox News' dimmest bulb," and its "biggest creep" by Salon — the spokesperson pointed to a segment where Watters said he isn't trying to upset anyone.

"I don't want to hurt anybody's feelings," he said.

The Asian American Journalists Association has demanded an apology, and issued a statement, saying in part:

It’s 2016. We should be far beyond tired, racist stereotypes and targeting an ethnic group for humiliation and objectification on the basis of their race. Sadly, Fox News proves it has a long way to go in reporting on communities of color in a respectful and fair manner.

Host Bill O’Reilly called the segment “gentle fun.” There was nothing gentle or fun about it. It was rude, offensive, mocking, derogatory and damaging.

Fox missed a real opportunity to investigate the Asian American vote, a topic not often covered in mainstream news.

UPDATE

Watters responded on Twitter with the following statement:

"As a political humorist, the Chinatown segment was intended to be a light piece, as all Watters World segments are. My man-on-the-street interviews are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek and I regret if anyone found offense."

UPDATE

Daniel Squadron, a member of the New York State Senate, has called the segment "offensive and unacceptable."

"Welcome to my district," he wrote on Twitter. "Hope you don't come back."

Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Julia Reinstein at julia.reinstein@buzzfeed.com.

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