Fox Sports announced Wednesday that they had cancelled their FUEL TV show, The College Experiment, after the program aired a segment which mocked the accents of Asian students attending USC. Fox Sports spokesman Lou D'Ermilio said in a statement that the segment was "clearly offensive and inconsistent with the standards Fox Sports believes in, and we sincerely regret that it appeared."
The story was first reported by Colorado's Daily Camera, prompting the network to issue an apology. The video shows "comedian" and "investigative reporter" Bob Oschack, a former TV writer, approaching Asian students at USC and asking them to give an "all-American" welcome to the Universities of Colorado and Utah as they join USC in the inaugural Pac-12 conference. The students earnestly participate in the interviews, not realizing they're the butt of a joke.
According to campus statistics, Asian students made up 21.6 percent of the undergrad student body at USC in 2010. There was no reason for the segment to single out Asians, unless there was a more pernicious agenda at work, such as mistaking what the students were saying for laughs. While the video may not be as overtly racist as UCLA student Alexandra Wallace's notorious anti-Asian rant, the insensitivity is just as damning. (How would Oschack feel if he went to China and they made fun of his 2001 abomination, Sharkman?)
Perhaps this turn of events isn't surprising, considering FUEL TV offers programming like Crusty's Dirt Demons, Thrillbillies, and Hooters Bikini IQ Test. University of Colorado ethnic-studies professor Darryl Maeda told the Daily Camera that the segment relied on stereotypes of Asians as "perpetual foreigners," and that "it has no place in a diverse and civil society." He said, "This is demeaning to millions of Asian-Americans who have put down roots in the U.S., claim English as their language, and root vigorously for their favorite sports team."