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Dads Producers Defend Pilot, Insist 'We Don't Want to Be the Racial-Insult Comedy Show'

Dads Fox ComedyThe cast and producers of Fox’s new Seth Green-Giovanni Ribisi comedy Dads deflected criticism about certain aspects of the show’s pilot Thursday at the Television Critics Assoc. summer press tour in Beverly Hills.

Several reporters in particular took issue with a sequence where an Asian-American woman (played by Disney Channel ingenue Brenda Song) is required by her bosses to dress as a “sexy Asian schoolgirl” — complete with embarrassed tittering — for the sexual gratification of visiting Chinese businessmen.

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“We all noticed some things we’d like to change or tweak moving forward,” acknowledged executive producer Alec Sulkin (Family Guy). “We ideally want to keep it insulting and irreverent. If we missed the mark a few times in the pilot, we’re aiming to hit it better in coming shows.”

Fellow EP Mike Scully (The Simpsons) assured reporters that there would be a “noticeable change in the tone and a [better] balance” beyond the first episode, adding, “We don’t want this to be the racial-insult comedy show. It’s a comedy about fathers and sons, and you want to strike that relatable thing.”

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Regarding the specific sequence featuring Song’s character, Sulkin explained, “We thought it would lead to a funny scene. If that didn’t land, we understand that. And we’ll try to balance that in future shows.”

For her part, Song wasn’t offended by the bit. “Veronica is a go-getter [and] she’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done,” the actress argued. “For me, I love being on a show where the envelope is always pushed. If you can’t laugh at yourself, you can’t laugh at all.”