"How I Met Your Racist Controversy" is probably not what CBS executives were hoping to wake up to this morning, but after "How I Met Your Mother's" Monday night episode, "Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmara," that's exactly what they got.
The episode, which featured the latest in the show's long-running, fan-favorite Slapsgiving gag, was overshadowed by fan outcry at the use of yellowface and other racist overtones (what, all Asian people don't eat noodles, do kung-fu, and practice calligraphy?), all chronicled on Twitter thanks to the ever-clever #HowIMetYourRacism hashtag.
Missed it? CBS has the full episode posted here ... for now ... although, no surprise, all the offending photos have been removed from their press site. But that's why screenshots were invented! Take a look:
On his quest to learn how to give Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) the ultimate slap, Marshall (Jason Segel) visited a dojo where a small Asian boy told him the three elements of a successful slap — which came up onscreen, kung-fu movie style:
He was then told to visit Red Bird (aka Cobie Smulders' Robin), White Flower (Marshall's wife Lily, played by Alyson Hannigan), and The Calligrapher (played by Josh Radnor's Ted), who were all in yellowface, all in costume, all doing a bit of an exaggerated accent, and all either eating noodles and drinking tea or doing calligraphy. And Ted had a long Fu Manchu mustache.
The show's co-creator Carter Bays took to Twitter — albeit almost 18 hours after the episode aired — to apologize. Here's what he had to say, all sentiments that co-creator Craig Thomas seconded.
With Mondays 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. Were 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 thats 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
What do you think, "HIMYM" fans: perfectly harmless, or did they go too far? And will you keep watching until the show ends in March, or are you done for good?
"How I Met Your Mother" airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on CBS.