Fox Sports thought this video of reporter Bob Oschack visiting the USC campus for man on the street interviews with Asian college students would be hilarious. The Internet thought otherwise and last Saturday, Fox Sports issued an apology to “the entire USC community” for airing the piece.
The video features Oschack asking USC students about their thoughts on the University of Colorado and University of Utah joining the Pac-12 Conference. The funny part was supposed to be the fact that he only interviewed Asian students who had trouble understanding what he was asking, knew nothing about American sports and spoke with strong enough accents to make their English sound hilarious. Wait, that’s supposed to be funny?
Oschack’s skit is more cringe worthy than hilarious, mostly because of the student’s clear eagerness to be interviewed and listen to whatever he had to say. Also, what’s Fox Sports trying to say about USC, that it’s a campus full of foreigners who don’t watch football? That their sports championships are meaningless to the student body?
Maybe the comedy gold is in the idea that Asians and Asian Americans don’t care about sports. Yes, that has to be it. Despite the fact that we’re obsessed about Jeremy Lin playing for the Golden State Warriors, that there was a little guy named Yao Ming in the NBA or that occasionally, someone from Japan plays on our baseball teams. Oh, and we play professional soccer around the world, too.
Also, why is Fox Sports’ apology only directed at USC? Does this mean that this video was only offensive to their students and not other Asian Americans? Somehow this makes me think that even after the uproar online, the network has missed the point on how annoyingly wrong Bob Oschack’s video was to our community.
Whatever the “punch line” is supposed to be, this isn’t about sports. This is about Fox Sports trying to pull off an overused and derogatory skit about foreign accents and stereotypes. This joke has been done so many times that I’m more offended over how unoriginal this style of humor than his mocking of college students. Listen, Oschack. It’s 2011. Hollywood has been trying to make fun of fobby Asians for decades (see Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and guess what? No one is laughing. Try again.