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.
At one point, Watters interviews an elderly woman who does not appear to speak English, followed by a movie clip that says, "Speak! Speak! Why don't you speak!"
He also asks two young women "how do they dance in China," and briefly has them dance for him.
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.
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.
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."
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 email@example.com.
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