Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | Fox apologizes for racist Pac-12 sports video stereotyping Asian students at USC
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Fox apologizes for racist Pac-12 sports video stereotyping Asian students at USC

Major props to University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Daryl Maeda for calling out the Fox Network for a racist video “report” that has since been pulled from the Fox website. The video shows comedian Bob Oschack, who’s identified as a “Investigative Reporter” and holds a Fox Sports microphone, interviewing Asian students on the campus of the University of Southern California, about Colorado and Utah joining the Pac-12 conference this fall.

It’s impossible to know how many people Oschack interviewed and didn’t include in the video, but the way it’s edited it looks like he only approached Asian students who are immigrants (they all have accents of varying thickness), and didn’t include any Asian Americans or non-Asian students. What’s with that?

As Maeda points out in an article in the Boulder Daily Camera: “This is demeaning to millions of Asian Americans who have put down deep roots in the United States, claim English as their language and root vigorously for their favorite sports teams.”

Instead, the report reinforces the idea that Asians are perpetual foreigners in America, especially when Oschack (whose ancestors presumably were European foreigners themselves just a few generations back) mocks these students accents and pronunciation.

The sole point of the segment appears to be to make fun of USC’s Asian students, who don’t seem to know or care about football,sports, the Pac-12, Colorado or Utah. It’s hard to deny that the video is about race, not sports.

Boo to Fox and to this lowbrow comic and his stupid, racist sense of humor. The network apologized through a spokesman and yanked the video from the Fox website, but I think they should punish Oschack — and the chain of command above him that approved this report and put it on the site.

Kudos too, to 7News and TheDenverChannel.com for picking up this story.

As Maeda wrote in an email to me, “It’s 2011, man. 2011!” Sigh.

UPDATE Sept. 8:

I have to give Fox News credit. The network’s apology was a sincere one that accepted responsibility for the inappropriate video, not a “non-apology apology,” where a company normally apologizes if something they ran offended you. And late yesterday, Fox simply canceled the “College Experiment” show that aired the offensive report.