Fox Addresses MANAA’s Racial Concerns With ‘Dads,’ Won’t Re-Shoot Pilot

Fox Addresses MANAA's Racial Concerns With

MANAA has requested follow up segs of 'Dads' to see progression of Brenda Song's character and racist humor

Earlier this month, the Media Action Network for Asian Americans implored the Fox brass to reconsider — and even re-shoot — the content featured in the pilot for Seth MacFarlane’s live-action comedy “Dads,” a fall series peppered with racist humor throughout its first seg.

Fox’s Kevin Reilly and Joe Earley, chairman and chief operating officer of Fox, respectively, stated in a follow up letter to MANAA that the group’s “perspective on programming is always important to us, especially given our ongoing efforts to reflect diverse characters and stories on our air.” Pair did not mention re-shooting the pilot.

Letter went on to say, “…What you viewed [of ‘Dads’] is just the pilot, and pilots are rarely perfect…we understand your concerns, as do the producers directly…This is a show that will be evocative and will poke fun at stereotypes and bigotries — sometimes through over-the-top, ridiculous situations.”

MANAA’s primary concern with the “Dads” pilot is the treatment of Brenda Song’s character, who dresses like a “sexy Asian school girl,” in order to impress Chinese businessmen. The activist group also frowned upon the banter used between “Dads” leads and the Chinese businessmen, noting that the dialogue amplified racial stereotypes.

“Everyone involved with ‘Dads’ is striving to create a series with humor that works on multiple levels and ‘earns’ its audaciousness,” the execs continued. “That said, we do recognize comedy is subjective, and we may not be able to please everyone, all the time.”

As for Song’s character (whom Song herself said she had no issue with during the show’s summer TCA session), Fox said the character is “a strong, intelligent, empowered young woman who basically runs the company, and who almost always gets the upper hand on the guys.”

“Dads,” starring Seth Green and Giovani Ribisi, debuts this fall on Fox.

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  1. Caleb says:

    This might have been “edgy” 20 years ago. But this show just feels completely outdated now.

  2. Ron Schwalbe says:

    Remember the good old FUN days before these people got so PC & thin skinned – Archie, The Jeffersons, Maude, Sanford & Son, Chico and the Man – — EVERYBODY laughed with everybody else at these classics – – OR–they just turned the channel and watched something Else !! We need to start a fund raiser to buy OFF buttons for these idiot complainers who want to control OTHERS !!

  3. Woody says:

    Running away from words and stereotypes simply empowers them. See All in the Family. See Lenny Bruce. If we can’t examine this stuff under a comic microscope it’ll always hound us as a society. Get a clue, people.

    • dygdyg says:

      All in the Family was smarter than this show shapes up to be in the official trailer. Meathead was a counterpoint to Archie, loudly condemning him for his bigoted attitudes. These dudes just cower in embarrassment. This is all about FOX using T&A to suck people into watching a new show. The jokes aren’t that edgy and don’t make sense. (The clients are Chinese, but the Hello Kitty-photography cliches are from Japan. They could have really gone there and made Mao Tse Tung and foot binding jokes.) Sounds like a rewrite happened. (Don’t want to piss of advertisers with major ties to China!) Martin Mull is trying to make it funny, God bless him. And the maid? Ay, ay, ay no funny senor!

  4. Testy Besttester says:

    Good for Fox.

    This whole “controversy” was a media created piece of nonsense. Let’s face it, TV critics have been gunning for McFarlane and they saw an opportunity.

    There is no controversy. It is created. Contrived. Fake.

    ANd for those who have jumped on the bandwagon of hate and derision, the question must be asked, have you seen the pilot yet? Because only a few have, so if you have not, how then can you claim it is either X or Y?


    To Mr. McFarlane and Fox, I wish nothing but success to the show. Knowing McFarlane I sincerely doubt he is trying to promote racism or any kind, as he is a master at using satire and farce to conquer the beasts of racism, homophobia and societal ills.

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