Despite backlash towards the overt racism in Fox's pilot of the Seth MacFarlane produced Dads, Fox won't budge on reshooting the controversial episode.
Shortly after the Media Action Network for Asian Americans criticized the show and asked for a reshoot due to multiple jokes at the expense of Asians, Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly and COO Joe Earley released a letter of their own attempting to appease the situation:
"This is a show that will be evocative and will poke fun at stereotypes and bigotries — sometimes through over-the-top, ridiculous situations," the executives added. "The series is based heavily on the executive producers’ own lives, and the relationships between the fathers and sons on Dads will continue to be the main driver of show’s comedic sensibility. Everyone involved with Dads is striving to create a series with humor that works on multiple levels and 'earns' its audaciousness. That said, we do recognize comedy is subjective, and we may not be able to please everyone, all the time."
MacFarlane has a history of playing it fast and loose on the scale of offensiveness: his Oscar hosting stint was memorable only for its misogyny, and Family Guy is no stranger to criticism for indecency and overall boorishness.
I've seen the pilot and while it definitely leans far closer to "racist" than just "not for everyone," a bigger issue that creators (and Ted producers) Alec Sulkin and Wellesley Wild will really have to contend with is actually making the show funny. Critics have been harsh, and with good reason: when your biggest laugh comes from Martin Mull and Peter Riegert fighting over a diner tab, no wonder you're leaning on Brenda Song dressed like Sailor Moon to save the show.
[Image via Fox]