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The Media Action Network for Asian Americans is asking Fox to change its Dads sitcom pilot before it airs, saying that the show is filled with racial stereotypes against Asians that should not make it to television.
According to Deadline, MANAA said that it sent a letter to Fox executives about the show, which is produced by Family Guy’s Seth MacFarlane, on Monday and haven’t received a response. Fox said it is still putting together its response.
The group wants Fox to reshoot “racist” scenes. In Dads, video game developers Seth Green and Giovanni Ribisi are stuck living with their fathers, played by Martin Mull and Peter Riegert. The fathers are particularly racist, especially Mull, who calls Asians “Orientals” in the pilot.
“Our community can’t continue to be the target of racially insensitive jokes,” MANAA stated in the letter, notes Variety. “Considering the consistent feedback from our community and television critics in general–and the creators saying they hadn’t properly defined their characters nor gotten used to their actors when they shot that first episode–this sounds like a no-brainer.”
The group is likely referring to the fact that TV critics bashed the show at the Television Critics Association press tour last month. Fox chairman Kevin Reilly said that the show will need to undergo retooling as it progresses to get the right comedic balance.
Executive producers Mike Scully and Wellesley Wild said that the show focused on fathers and sons, not insult humor. Green added, “This is an opportunity for characters to have that discussion in the way most people can’t.”
MANAA said that it was shown the pilot in July and one of the producers said that the racist humor came strictly from the dads. But they noted that the giggling Asian schoolgirl stereotype in one scene came from the sons.
Dads is among the new sitcoms debuting on Fox this fall.