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The CBS TV show 'How I Met Your Mother' is a sitcom. It's meant to make people laugh and provide an escape for half an hour a week (minus ads of course) from the daily grind. Typically, the show is pretty well liked and rated. And, from what I can tell at least, they don't try to offend or off put any one demographic in particular. Sure, there are sex jokes galore and it does have somewhat of a target audience. But, as far as sitcoms go, it's standard fare.
Social media is "up in arms" though over the show's last episode. This story alone got me to watch the episode just now. http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/15/showbiz/how-i-met-your-mother-controversy/
Some Asian-Americans are upset with the way the characters of the show portrayed their respective Kung Fu master getups: in 'yellowface'.
Many are also upset with the way the show portrayed Asian kung-fu culture in general. Granted, I will agree that it could be perceived as shallow, stereotypical, cheap comedy. But, I would not call that necessarily racist or even offensive, just done in bad taste and not funny. There is a HUGE difference, especially when it comes to comedy. If it's funny, almost anything goes, for its just for laughs after all. But, if its not really funny, then everyone sees it in a different light and many can get offended.
So, I ask: Is this really offensive?
I get that we live in an ever-increasing PC, interconnected, knee-jerk society now.. Tell me your personal opinions, do you find this offensive or racist? If your first instinct (especially if you are an Asian/Asian-American) is that it is offensive, I would at least recommend that you watch the whole episode first and see if your opinion changes or not. I would be really interested to know if in it's full context and humor if it still offends.
This is the comment the show released after the social media backlash:
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. 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. 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. To everyone we offended, we hope we can regain your friendship, and end this series on a note of goodwill."