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Seth MacFarlane’s Show “Dads” Stirs Controversy Among Asian-Americans

(Image Credit: Fox Television)

Seth MacFarlane’s humor has offended someone?  You don’t say!

After the success of his live-action film “Ted”, “Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane has been working towards a new live-action television series for Fox called “Dads”, centering around two video game developers, Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi, whose dads move in with them, played by Martin Mull and Peter Reigert.  Previewed last month, “Dads” received poor reviews from the Television Critics Association, but also a letter of protest from the Media Action Network for Asian Americans (MANAA), urging Fox to reshoot racially insensitive scenes before the official premiere next month.

MANAA’s biggest issues with MacFarlane’s new series come from racial comments made by several characters, and how Green and Ribisi’s characters treat their Asain assistant.  In “Dads”, one of the fathers refers to Asians as “Orientals” and makes the comment, “There’s a reason ‘Shanghai’ is a verb.”  Green and Ribisi’s characters are planning to meet with a Chinese businessman and ask their assistant, played by Brenda Song, to dress in a provocative outfit from the anime “Sailor Moon” and giggle demurely, which MANAA cited as a Japanese stereotype.  MANAA also stated they weren’t surprised by the racial comments in the series after co-creator Alec Sulkin tweeted after the Japanese Tsumani,

“If you wanna feel better about this earthquake in Japan, Google ‘Pearl Harbor death toll’.”

Sulkin later apologized and removed the offending tweet.  MANAA founding president Guy Aoki reported that racism towards Asians isn’t exclusive to MacFarlane’s new show or the network Fox, referring to the CBS comedy “Two Broke Girls” where the Asian character is repeatedly the brunt of the jokes.  Aoki claims that while the television industry is terrified of offending the African-American community, they seem to have no problems offending Asian Americans, which is why he created MANAA.  MANAA is currently awaiting a response from Fox about the requested changes, to which Fox has said they are considering.

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