“Racism” on TV

Apparently, people thought that this Monday’s episode of How I Met Your Mother was offensive. This doesn’t make sense to me.

Okay, it makes a little bit of sense. They dressed up in traditional Chinese clothing (including putting Ted in fake facial hair). But to me it was clear that it was meant to be a tribute. The jokes were not mean-spirited in any way. There was no “Yellow face”, no over the top stereotypical “Asian” accents, and Barney didn’t even make a “yellow fever” joke. What I saw were action sequences reminiscent of classic Kung Fu films (of which I’ve seen many), and lighthearted humor.

At no point did I feel it was offensive. I also did not feel that they were “Hijacking” Chinese culture to use for humor. I can understand this point of view, but I feel that it was unfounded.

However, I’d like to point out the hypocrisy of those outraged, as is my right. If in this episode, Marshall had gone to Ireland to learn the art of stepdancing. And he ran into a drunken redheaded Irishmen. People would not have said a word.

That situation would have been even more offensive. And yet, a white character going to Shanghai and meeting two white women who ate noodles with chopsticks, and did not speak with affected Chinese accents, was unforgivably racist?

I don’t buy that for a second.