How A Christmas Story Live! Made Its Chinese Restaurant Scene Less Racist

Live musical enlists the help of Ken Jeong and The Filharmonic.

From Vulture... When families and "You'll shoot your eye out!" obsessives gather 'round the old flat-screen to watch Fox's ambitious musical event, A Christmas Story Live!, they may notice a few adjustments to the beloved 1983 film that inspired the special.

...Fans of the movie will notice that the production deviates from an almost entirely white cast to include a more diverse group of performers, including Maya Rudolph as Ralphie's mother, David Alan Grier as the surly department-store Santa Claus, Fred Armisen as a store elf, Ken Jeong as a Christmas-tree salesman and Chinese-restaurant owner, and scores of other actors of color who appear as townspeople, Ralphie's classmates, and in a myriad song-and-dance numbers.

But the most noticeable update comes toward the end of the production, during the Chinese-restaurant scene when a group of Asian waiters sing "Deck the Halls" for Ralphie and his family on Christmas day. The original film depicted the waiters as performing the song with stereotypical mispronunciation, singing the song's refrain as "Fa ra ra ra ra" instead of "Fa la la la la." But in this version, the quintet -- in real life, the a cappella group Filharmonic -- performs the classic carol flawlessly.

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