I don’t watch How I Met Your Mother, so I never saw this as it aired, but apparently there was an uproar over a recent episode in which the characters played by Cobie Smulders, Josh Radnor and Alyson Hannigan were all shown wearing stereotypical Asian attire as part of some “slap bet” saga that’s been ongoing in the series. Here are two examples:
There was an outcry on Twitter, and viewers started using the hashtag #HowIMetYourRacism, which eventually prompted creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas to issue an apology.
I’m a bit torn on this. After all, we don’t really give Katy Perry shit when she wears a kimono (well, some people do, but you know what I mean), so why should Cobie Smulders doing it on TV be any different? Then again, Katy is one person and this was a whole episode of white people dressing up in costumes. I do, however, believe Bays that this was innocent and not an intended farce (which doesn’t make the end result better but we should cut them some slack). The problem is, most people aren’t trained to think critically about race in that way, so something that seems innocent in your mind can come off totally different to those who have been marginalized all their lives. Hopefully this was just a learning experience for them, fans can accept the apology – which really does seem sincere – and move on.