TV & Radio
How I Met Your Mother co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have apologised on Twitter after the latest episode of the hit sitcom was accused of racism.
The show which aired on CBS in the US on Monday night, faced a social media backlash after it depicted several of its title characters in what viewers are dubbing "yellowface".
"I want to say a few words about #HowIMetYourRacism...we set out to make a silly and unabashedly immature homage to Kung Fu movies, a genre we've always loved," series co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas wrote in a joint tweet, apologising for any upset that they may have caused.
"But along the way we offended people. We're deeply sorry, and we're grateful to everyone who spoke up to make us aware of it."
The episode titled Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra focuses on one of the show's longest running gags - the slap bet.
In the episode, Marshall (Jason Segel) recalls how he learnt the Slap of a Million Exploding Suns on his "slapquest" from three grand masters; who as it turns out are played by Marshall friend's Robin, Lily and Ted.
The scenes were shot using generic, Asian-looking backdrops and Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan, and Josh Radnor had their faces made-up to appear Asian, complete with black hair, black-rimmed eyes, and wearing Asian silk robes; Radnor even dons a Fu Manchu moustache.
Viewers of the show were quick to voice their disgust over the racial-based joke and created the hashtag #HowIMetYourRacism, which began trending shortly after the episode aired.
One viewer tweeted: "Yeah, seriously, that episode of #HIMYM was so bad I turned it off. I couldn't stomach it. #HowIMetYourRacism."
"Besides the gross orientalizing of the women, Ted wore a f---ing Fu Manchu 'stach! Who thought this was ok? @HIMYM-CBS #HowIMetYourRacism," another commented.
How I Met Your Mother is in its ninth and final season. Bays posted on Twitter that after this controversy, "I hope we can regain your friendship, and end this series on a note of goodwill".
If you're going to make fun of Asian people and kungfu, at least use Asian actors on your show instead of whitewashing it #HowIMetYourRacism
— ☮ K A R E N ☮ (@kaarenmeelon) January 15, 2014
— Nicole Says Things (@NFRAggie) January 15, 2014
— middle finger emoji (@humancity) January 15, 2014
— Khaled Bey (@legyptian) January 15, 2014
Disturbing takeaway is that it’s somehow acceptable—safe, even—to do racist Asian jokes. It’s not edgy cable, it’s CBS. #HowIMetYourRacism
— Michael Suen (@poetichentai) January 15, 2014
- Sydney Morning Herald