‘O’Reilly Factor’ Blasted for ‘Disgusting,’ ‘Racist’ Chinatown Segment

“How much trolling, anti-Asian racism can you pack into one news segment? More than I ever thought possible,” says one critic

Last Updated: October 5, 2016 @ 3:46 PM

UPDATE 10/5 2:38 p.m. PT: Watters has issued an apology in two tweets, saying, “As a political humorist, the Chinatown segment was intended to be a light piece, as all Watters World segments are,” and, “My man-on-the-street interviews are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek and I regret if anyone found offense.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Fox News correspondent Jesse Watters is facing backlash following a segment on Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor” wherein he visited New York’s Chinatown to get residents’ thoughts on the 2016 election.

“How much trolling, anti-Asian racism can you pack into one news segment? More than I ever thought possible,” said one Twitter user, linking to the five-minute video.

When reached for comment, a Fox News spokesperson pointed to recent comments Watters made, saying, “I don’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings,” and that he approaches the monthly segments “thinking how can I listen to them and have them share with me their thoughts and opinions in a way that doesn’t come across as mean.”

But that approach was clearly lost in translation this time around.

In the latest “Watters’ World” segment, the correspondent asks Asian-American interview subjects if he should bow while saying hello, inquires whether a vendor is selling stolen watches and plays upon one Asian stereotype after another, from some people’s inability to speak English to learning karate and getting a foot massage.

“has anyone ever been a bigger POS than jesse watters? (no),” said one irate tweet.

“The Jesse Watters bit isn’t just offensive, it’s frightening,” said another. “Open disdain for otherness. Inviting viewers to join in on the dehumanization.”

Comedian Patton Oswalt mocked Watters’ appearance: “Jesse Watters: ‘I wanna be on TV. I don’t care why. Or for what. I don’t have talent but I want to be on TV. Lemme be on TV.'”

“In Jesse Watters’s defense, he has also made a racist video making fun of Italians,” said another user, displaying another segment in which Watters visited the Feast of San Gennaro, joking that he can’t pronounce “pasta,” and the like.

After the segment aired, O’Reilly spoke to Watters on “The O’Reilly Factor,” seeming to acknowledge that the video was offensive, saying: “I know we’re going to get letters.”