An Open Letter to Jesse Watters from the Asian Community


By Arianna Chen, Junior Editor

Watter’s World is a segment run by Jesse Watters in “The O’Reilly Factor,” in which Watters walks through communities to ask random citizens questions about a certain topic.

Recently, Watter had a segment titled “Chinatown Edition,” in which he walked around Chinatown to ask the locals how they felt about the upcoming election.

Being an Asian-American myself, I was reluctant to watch this video after hearing about the controversy behind his alleged words, but after watching it, let me say that I have some choice words for Jesse Watters: you are an actual piece of trash.

In all situations where someone can interview random citizens, there is always the possibility (a high one at that) of the video being skewed to be “funny,” only presenting the “uneducated” responses. This is not surprising and is a common tactic used by many news companies to either skew perception or make a joke, so I was expecting this.

What I wasn’t expecting were the derogatory, racist, and appallingly awful things that he said to these people. Whether or not it was to gain certain responses that he wanted, the things he said were unacceptably awful.

He played on racist stereotypes, beginning the segment by asking a woman if he was “supposed to bow to her to say hello.” Watters knows that he doesn’t have to bow to her, he’s just being rude and mocking an aspect of Chinese culture that has existed for centuries. These people did nothing to deserve such ignorantly rude remarks, and they were not even aware of his brutish intentions even after he said them; they were kind to him.

Watters speaks to these Chinese members of the community as if he were a greater person than them, as if these people are somehow less than him. This, paired with the plain malicious things that he said to these people, made this broadcast sickening to me.

When an elderly woman did not respond to his question about Trump and his relations with China, he broadcasted a short video of a woman from “Frankenstein” screaming, “Speak, speak!” In other words, he literally compared a Chinese elderly woman to Frankenstein based on her appearance. It was obvious that the woman did not understand the question or was unable to respond, and he decided to manipulate that into a message that Chinese people are unaware or stupid.

Watters got off track from the political message of the segment many times, resorting to inherently racist comments about whether or not “it was the year of the dragon or rabbit,” “China ripping us off,” and “squaring that circle.” In a hurtful and ignorant attempt to be funny, Watters utilized hurtful Asian stereotypes.

He continues to ask about “Chinese food just being called food in China,” whether or not people know karate (which is Japanese by the way, not Chinese), and shows a video of a woman massaging his feet. This video played on so many Asian stereotypes and derogatory mannerisms that it felt like it wasn’t real. It felt like this video was some type of social experiment.

And to Jesse Watters, how dare you. How dare you waltz into the Chinese community, with people blindly assuming you as a kind man, and completely take advantage of this community. How dare you take advantage of my community. How dare you portray my people in such a blatantly racist manner, mocking the Chinese culture, language, and community that I grew up in.

This video was just a complete eye opener to me that America still has issues. The fact that this video was broadcasted to million worldwide without a second thought shows that FOX News thought that this disgusting video would be acceptable for the public to see, which is horrifying. The fact that FOX News nor Jesse Watters has issued no apology, no remorse, and no consequences for this video is unacceptable.

I can’t believe these types of things are happening in 2016. I’m horrified.

P.S. Jesse Watters, next time you come to Chinatown (if you actually want Chinese opinions on politics this time and not just to make a low, unsuccessful racist joke), try to talk to people who know English, as opposed to pushing a false stereotype by purposely talking to people who aren’t familiar with the language you’re speaking.