‘How I Met Your Mother’ Creators Respond to Racist “Slapsgiving” Controversy
As if ‘How I Met Your Mother‘ hadn’t been under enough criticism in its ninth and final season, the most recent installment “Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra” seemed to highlight several surprisingly racist Asian stereotypes that have appropriately caused an uproar. Following the controversy, series creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas have reached out to apologize for the offensive nature of the episode.
The “Slapsgiving” episode in question attempted to pay homage to classic martial arts films, as well as Quentin Tarantino‘s ‘Kill Bill’ series as Marshall (Jason Segel) told the story of his travels to Japan to master the “Slap of a Thousand Exploding Suns.” In doing so however, the story utilized series stars Cobie Smulders, Alyson Hannigan and Josh Radnor as three “Masters” to teach Marshall the necessary components of the slap, outfitting each actor to look and speak stereotypically Asian along the way.
Following the outbreak of a “#HowIMetYourRacism” hashtag, series co-creator Carter Bays reached out over Twitter to apologize for the error in judgement:
Hey guys, sorry this took so long. @himymcraig and I want to say a few words about #HowIMetYourRacism. 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. @CarterBays @HimymCraig
We had thought it especially strange that such obvious “yellow-face” racism could have made it through development, to the point we’d have expected the series stars and crew to speak up during production, though at least Bays acknowledged the outrage. ‘How I Met Your Mother’ will conclude its run on March 31 with the series finale, but in the meantime, what say you? Does Bays’ apology make up for the dubious nature of the episode? Should the network take any additional action to protect its image?
And now for something we can all agree on, Boys II Men!