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 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.

Author urges women to date diverse men (good), then stereotypes men of color (bad) and says stupid stuff on NPR

JC DavieHoly cow — I just read about this on, and it goes way beyond the pale.

J.C. Davies, a former Goldman Sachs investment banker and blogger who’s published a book about inter-racial dating, “I Got The Fever: Love, What’s Race Got To Do With It?,” was a panelist on the NPR show “Tell Me More” for an episode about dating unemployed men. The other panelists on the program were Danielle Belton, author of the blog “The Black Snob“, GQ magazine Washington correspondent and TV pundit Ana Marie Cox, and the host is Michel Martin.

Davies began riffing off the topic at hand, and spouted off some incredible stereotypes as if they’re indisputable facts. Here are some passages from the NPR transcript:
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An enduring Asian stereotype in a 1970s TV commercial

“Ancient Chinese secret, huh?”

In honor of the final day of Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month, I wanted to share an iconic classic television commercial. I grew up with the accusing tone of the white woman who catches the affable Asian laundry owner in a lie, ringing in my head.

The TV commercial was for Calgon water softener, and the scene is in a Chinese laundry shop, run by “Mr. Lee.” Here’s the quite accurate description of the 30-second flash of Asian stereotype from the YouTube page that features the video: Continue reading

Racism in humor: It’s no longer cool to tell an “Oriental” joke

I grew up in an era before political correctness, when racial jokes were a staple of standup comedy. I’m talking jokes by white comics about minorities. It took until the ’70s when black comics like Richard Pryor started turning racial humor on its head, making fun of white people as well as blacks.

These days, there are Asian American standups who tell some hilarious jokes about AAPIs, and our sometimes peculiar cultural values and traditions.

But it’s been a long time since I heard a joke about Asians told by a white person.

So imagine my bemusement when a co-worker whom I’m friendly with (as opposed to a friend with whom I might socialize), came up to me in the office kitchen today.

“I’m sure you heard this, but I’m going to tell it anyway,” he said excitedly, chuckling to himself.

“So this Oriental man goes to the doctor (first wince) to have his eyes looked at (second wince, since I just heard about Miley Cyrus’ ‘chinky-eyed’ photo). The doctor looks at him and says, ‘I have some bad news… you have a cataract.’ ‘I don’t have a cataract,’ the man replies. ‘I have a rincon continentaru.'”


Big wince. And, a laugh. Or two.
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Another Olympic team mocks Asian eyes in a photo

Asian Americans (and Asians around the world) should be up in arms about this. Yet another “official” photo has been found, of an Olympic team posing with its members pulling back their eyes to make them slanted. This time it’s four members of the Argentine Women’s Soccer Team, mocking their Chinese hosts in a photo in a national sports magazine.

All these athletes claim the mockery is affectionate and that no offense was meant. So it calls in tho question a general cultural attitude — in Spanish-speaking countries? In Spain and Argentina? — that allows this kind of display as acceptable. Certainly, I don’t think any U.S. Olympic team would do this for a photo that’s going to be seen worldwide.

So maybe the U.S. is more evolved in racial attitudes than some other countries. I guess that’s good news….