Was “How I Met Your Mother” racist in its new episode on Monday night? This was a question that was asked immediately on Twitter and in the media the past few days.
In our full review of “Slapsgiving 3,” we addressed indirectly some of the controversy by saying that it was a poor choice for the writers to decide to tell a story about Marshall receiving training from some karate master characters, and have them be played in his mind by Lily, Ted, and Robin. It never felt as though this was a gag meant to insult or offend anyone who is Asian-American, but at the same time, anytime that you dress up Caucasian actors in a costume for another culture, you are going down a very slippery at at times offensive slope. A more appropriate (and possibly hilarious) measure would have just been to cast some popular kung-fu actors in these roles, and you could have produced a nice little pop culture moment.
In a post on his Twitter account, co-creator Carter Bays reinforced that neither he nor fellow creator Craig Thomas were going into the episode with the intent to offend; however, they represent the consequences of their actions and are trying to move forward:
“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, I hope we can regain your friendship, and end this series on a note of goodwill. Thanks.”
What do you think of the controversy, and also the accompanying response? Let us know your thoughts, and we’ll have more “How I Met Your Mother” coverage soon. Sign up for our CarterMatt Newsletter if you are interested in securing more updates in your email inbox.