Fox Sports had a great idea to generate buzz about the new Pac-12 football conference with a street campaign, but somewhere the concept crossed the line from funny to offensive.
Fox produced a video that included interviews with University of Southern California students who were asked about the addition of two teams to the conference. The interviewer, comedian Bob Oschack, singled out Asian-Americans who had little knowledge of football, let alone the Pac-12. Oschack made fun of students’ accents and grammatical errors for some yuks in an uncomfortable video.
Soon the video attracted the attention of ethnic studies professors at Pac-12 colleges, and before long the video was pulled off the Web. Here’s a version hosted by the Boulder Daily Camera, which first reported the story:
In a statement given to the Boulder Daily Camera, Fox Sports Network spokesman Lou D’Ermilio apologized to the USC community and said:
“The context was clearly inappropriate, and the video was removed as soon as we became aware of it. We will review our editorial process to determine where the breakdown occurred and we will take steps to ensure something like this never happens again.”
University of Colorado ethnic studies professor Darryl Maeda, who saw the segment, told the Camera that the piece relies on stereotypes of Asians as “perpetual foreigners.” “This is demeaning to millions of Asian-Americans who have put down deep roots in the United States, claim English as their language, and root vigorously for their favorite sports teams,” Maeda said.