'How I Met Your Mother' Creators Respond to Kung Fu Controversy
Two days after an episode in which stars Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan appeared in Asian garb and spoke in stereotypical accents, the showrunners take to Twitter to apologize.
How I Met Your Mother's final season is not without its share of controversy. The CBS sitcom aired an episode on Monday night that depicted Jason Segel's character, Marshall, traveling to China (and Cleveland) to meet with three characters out of a kung fu movie -- who happened to be played by Caucasian co-stars Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan.
The trio's outfits, accents and makeup -- the term "yellowface" has been used -- prompted suggestions of racist overtones and drew the ire of many a viewer on Twitter. Co-creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas responded on Wednesday afternoon, even adopting the controversy's chosen hashtag: #HowIMetYourRacism.
"Hey guys, sorry this took so long. [Craig Thomas] and I want to say a few words about #HowIMetYourRacism," Bays wrote from his account. "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."
The episode, "Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra," brought the pseudo conclusion to the long-running gag of Marshall owing Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) five slaps to the face. With eight episodes remaining until the Mar. 31 series finale, one slap remains.
CBS is still streaming the episode on the show's website.