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Reporter’s Chinatown Story Criticized

Jesse Watters during his regular appearance on Fox News' "O'Reilly Factor."

Jesse Watters during his regular appearance on Fox News' "O'Reilly Factor."

This is What’s Trending Today:

People in the United States are concerned that a report on a recent episode of the conservative talk show “The O’Reilly Factor” represented Chinese-Americans in a negative, unfunny way.

Bill O’Reilly’s show is one of the most popular programs on the Fox News Channel in the U.S. In some episodes of the program, Fox News reporter Jesse Watters provides what is supposed to be a funny video examining a part of American life. The special segment is called Watters’ World.

In his reports, Watters asks people he meets on the street questions related to the topic of the video. For example, he once asked people on the street, “What are you afraid of?”

In another episode, he showed people photos of famous Americans like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, and asked people if they knew who they were.

In one recent episode, he went to New York City’s “Little Italy” neighborhood to attend a festival. He tried a lot of traditional Italian foods and joked about how to pronounce certain Italian words.

After the recent debate between U.S. Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, Watters went to the Chinatown neighborhood of New York City to ask questions.

He decided to speak with Chinese-Americans because Trump mentioned China several times during the debate.

He asked one man if he knew karate. Karate is actually a Japanese martial art.

He asked an elderly woman, who did not seem to speak English, questions about the election. After she could not answer, a scene played from an old movie with a woman yelling “Speak. Speak. Why don’t you speak?”

He also used an old joke: “Do they call Chinese food in China, just food?”

Many people said Watters’ latest report was racist and aggressive toward Asian-Americans.

A New York Times sports reporter, wrote on Twitter: “It’s 2016. Here is a person from Fox News going to Chinatown and asking people if they know Karate.”

Even New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said “the vile, racist behavior of Fox’s Jesse Watters in Chinatown has no place in our city."

After the criticism, Watters did apologize. He also said that his reports are not to be taken seriously. He wrote on Twitter, “My man-on-the-street interviews are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek and I regret if anyone found offense.”

And that’s What’s Trending Today.

I’m Dan Friedell.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

What do you think of Watters’ program? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

karaten. a form of fighting that was developed in Japan in which your feet and hands are used to kick and hit an opponent : a Japanese martial art — often used before another noun

racistn. poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race

vileadj. very bad or unpleasant

tongue-in-cheekexpression. something not to be taken seriously

segmentn. a part of something larger; a part of a television program

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