'Dads': FOX denies request to reshoot 'racist' scenes in pilot
The Media Action Network for Asian Americans requested that the network reshoot parts of the premiere episode of creator Seth MacFarlane's first live-action comedy that depicted "racial and sexual stereotypes," including Brenda Song dressing as a "sexy Asian schoolgirl" and Martin Mull's character referring to Asians as "Orientals."
In response, FOX entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly and COO Joe Earley offered a letter, asking the organization to allow time for the show to develop.
"You will see that Brenda Song's character is a strong, intelligent, empowered young woman who basically runs the company, and who almost always gets the upper hand on the guys," the two write.
"This is a show that will be evocative and will poke fun at stereotypes and bigotries -- somethings through over-the-top, ridiculous situations," they add. "The series is based heavily on the executive producers' own lives, and the relationships between the fathers and sons on 'Dads' will continue to be the main driver of the show's comedic sensibility. Everyone involved with 'Dads' is striving to create a series with humor that works on multiple and 'earns' its audaciousness. That said, we do recognize comedy is subjective, and we may not be able to please everyone, all the time."
Additionally, they write that some the specific points the MANAA make will be addressed as the series moves along.
With that promise, the organization has asked to see upcoming episodes "to get a sense of how Brenda Song's character will develop as well as the extent of the racial humor against Asian Americans," MANAA president Guy Aoki wrote in a letter of his own. As of press time, there was no word on whether FOX offered up the requested upcoming episodes.
"Dads" premieres Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.