How I Met Your Mother creators apologise for racism row

16/01/14

Cast of How I Met Your Mother

The creators of How I Met Your Mother have apologised after accusations the US show had been "racist".

Slapsgiving 3: Slappointment in Slapmarra, the episode in question, was partly set in China and shown on CBS in the US on Monday, 13 January.

Three of the cast had make-up, costumes and accents which some viewers said were inappropriate, leading to the Twitter hashtag "#HowIMetYourRacism".

The writers said they now realised that "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
Carter Bays
How I Met Your Mother writer

In the episode Jason Segal's character Marshall travelled to China, where he met with characters from kung fu films, played by three of the regular cast.

Josh Radnor, Cobie Smulders and Alyson Hannigan were accused of using "yellowface" - the practice of using make-up to make white actors appear more East Asian.

A US organisation whose aims include improving the representation of Asian Americans in the media, 18 Million Rising, said: "The thing... about this: a whole lot of people had to not just say 'okay', but agree this was a good idea."

Other viewers tweeted messages including, "Dear @CBS, this is yellowface. My race is not a costume" and "#HowIMetYourRacism is latest in long line of film & TV that somehow still finds it okay - no, finds it hilarious - to overtly caricature Asians."

Cast of How I Met Your Mother

Carter Bays, one of the show's writers, tweeted an apology and explanation over the "#HowIMetYourRacism" row.

"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," he wrote.

"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."

The writer added: "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."

Neil Patrick Harris
Image caption Neil Patrick Harris has been in the US comedy since it began in 2005

His fellow creator and executive producer on the show, Craig Thomas, added: "I second everything @carterbays just tweeted - we love all #HIMYM fans and apologize that we caused offense."

How I Met Your Mother has been running for nine series and is due to end later this year.

Neil Patrick Harris has twice been nominated for a Golden Globe for supporting actor, and the show has picked up numerous other awards.

The show airs on E4 in the UK with the ninth season expected soon.

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