Outrage over this week's How I Met Your Mother, which featured some lazy stereotypes and totally awesome yellowface, has picked up steam, thanks to some widely circulated screenshots and the catchy, clever Twitter hashtag #HowIMetYourRacism. In case you missed, the episode featured a clunky tale about one of the characters seeking to learn a faux-riental slap technique. Stereotypes ensued.
As someone who's watched and enjoyed How I Met Your Mother in the past, this was disappointing. But as someone who's watched a lot of television and movies, you know, in general, it wasn't surprising. Racist shit on the teevee? Seen a lot of it. That said, you did get the show's attention.
This afternoon, How I Met Your Mother co-creator Carter Bays took to Twitter to address the negative reaction to the episode, and offered an apology of sorts:
With Monday's episode, we set out to make a silly and unabashedly immature homage to Kung Fu movies, a genre we’ve always loved.— Carter Bays (@CarterBays) January 15, 2014
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.— Carter Bays (@CarterBays) January 15, 2014
We try to make a show that's universal, that anyone can watch and enjoy. We fell short of that this week, and feel terrible about it.— Carter Bays (@CarterBays) January 15, 2014
And co-creator Craig Thomas says ditto:
I appreciate apologies that acknowledge wrongdoing and avoid placing blame on the offended. People make mistakes. But this apology sounds a lot like the really really nice guy who hates it when people are mad at him. We get it, you feel terrible that we were offended. You feel terrible that you messed up. So how about actually addressing what you did to mess up? Aw, hell. I'm nitpicking at lackluster apologies.
Really, you just wish they'd had the sense to avoid this bullshit altogether. Obviously, as usual, that was asking too much. Now we all have that image of fu manchu'd Ted Moseby seared into our souls.