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'Racist' O'Reilly Factor Segment Draws Sharp Rebuke From Chinatown

By  Danielle Tcholakian and Allegra Hobbs | October 5, 2016 6:44pm 

 Councilwoman Margaret Chin and State Sen. Daniel Squadron have both criticized the O'Reilly Show segment as racist.
Councilwoman Margaret Chin and State Sen. Daniel Squadron have both criticized the O'Reilly Show segment as racist.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

CHINATOWN — Elected officials who represent Chinatown lashed out at Fox News, Bill O'Reilly and "O'Reilly Factor" correspondent Jesse Watters Wednesday for a show segment that they derided as "offensive," "unacceptable" and "particularly mean-spirited."

In the segment, Watters talks to people on the streets of Chinatown, ostensibly to gauge Chinese-American opinions of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

But Watters has come under fire, as he spent much of the segment perpetuating Asian-American stereotypes and mocking the people he spoke with for little more than their ethnicity.

“As the daughter of an elderly Chinese American who still lives in Chinatown, the moment when his correspondent mocked a senior citizen who seemingly did not know English stood out as a particularly mean-spirited act of disrespect," City Councilwoman Margaret Chin said in a statement.

"Would Bill O’Reilly or his correspondent treat an elderly Irish grandmother in the same manner? I suspect the answer to that question is emblematic of the persistent racism that still exists against Chinese Americans, who more than a century ago worked alongside Irish Americans to build the railroads that connected this continent."

State Sen. Daniel Squadron took to Twitter to sarcastically "welcome" Watters to Chinatown, which lies in his district, and slammed the segment as "offensive" and "unacceptable."



In a second tweet, Squadron also linked the issue to Trump, accusing the candidate of perpetuating "disrespect and racism."



65th District Assembly Nominee Yuh-Lin Niou said in a statement that she was "utterly shocked and disgusted" by the segment, which she slammed for reinforcing damaging stereotypes and demanded Fox News apologize.

"Mr. O'Reilly's characterization of our community as lazy thieves and karate masters reflects a long and painful history of discrimination that has no place in our society," said Niou, who called on the Chinatown community to "remain vigilant in the face of bigotry."

"I stand with every family in Chinatown, every Asian-American and every immigrant in calling for a full retraction and apology from Mr. O'Reilly and Fox News."

O'Reilly did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment. But Watters took to Twitter to apologize if anyone was offended.