Fox won't reshoot portions of its upcoming comedy "Dads," despite charges of racism, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
After Fox sent out the pilot for review, TV critics began taking aim at the show's racially-charged brand of humor and the portrayal of one particular Asian-American character, played by "Social Network" star and Disney Channel alumna Brenda Song. She appears in a "Sailor Moon"-like anime outfit in one instance and in another, Martin Mull's character even calls Asians "Orientals."
Media Action Network for Asian Americans asked Fox to replace to "racial" and "sexual" stereotypical content in the "Dads" pilot before the show premiered, but the network issued a letter asking the watchdog group to give the show a chance.
"You will see that Brenda Song's character is a strong, intelligent, empowered young woman who basically runs the company, and who almost always gets the upper hand on the guys," Fox entertainment chairman Kevin Reilly and COO Joe Earley said in a letter obtained by THR.
"This is a show that will be evocative and will poke fun at stereotypes and bigotries -- sometimes through over-the-top, ridiculous situations," the letter continues. "The series is based heavily on the executive producers’ own lives, and the relationships between the fathers and sons on 'Dads' will continue to be the main driver of show’s comedic sensibility. Everyone involved with 'Dads' is striving to create a series with humor that works on multiple levels and 'earns' its audaciousness. That said, we do recognize comedy is subjective, and we may not be able to please everyone, all the time."
At the Television Critics Association Summer 2013 press tour earlier this month, "Dads" co-executive producer Alec Sulkin admitted some things in the pilot needed to be tweaked moving forward. "If we missed the mark in the pilot, we're trying to hit it better in upcoming shows," he added.
And at the time, Reilly said, "If this show still has low-hanging jokes ... and the characters have not become full-blown over the next few months, the show will not work."
"Dads" premieres Tuesday, September 17 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.