The upcoming ABC series "Fresh of the Boat" is being billed as potentially groundbreaking moment for pop culture by focusing on an Asian-American family. But at a panel event during Wednesday’s Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour, the cast and creative team were asked about... chopsticks.
“I wanted to ask the question: I love Asian culture. And I was just talking about chopsticks, and I just love all that," the unnamed reporter said, according to Deadline. "Will I get to see that, or will it be more Americanized?”
"It’s more about chopsticks,” star chef/entrepreneur Eddie Huang replied sarcastically. Huang's memoir of the same title is the basis of the show.
“Wait till Episode 5, it’s all about chopsticks,” showrunner Nahnatchka Khan said, according to EW.
The next questioner tried to defuse the situation with a little humor.
“Will we be seeing fortune cookies?” the critic asked.
But it was too late. On Twitter, the reaction was swift:
Will there be chopsticks in the show? For real?!
ABC's #FreshOffTheBoat panel gets awkward real quick @MrEddieHuang http://t.co/PZE8wh253A
— Jennifer Jajeh (@jenjajeh) January 15, 2015
Reporter asks #FreshOffTheBoat panel if there'll be chopsticks, making me really afraid America's still not ready for an Asian sitcom. #smh
— Jessica Wong (@jpuiwong) January 15, 2015
Earlier this week, Huang wrote a piece for New York Magazine in which he expressed doubt in the ability of network television to be faithful to his story.
However, on Wednesday, he promised a show with some edge.
“To deal with the word ‘chink’ in the pilot episode of a comedy on network television is borderline genius and insane at the same time,” Huang said, according to The Wrap.
"Fresh Off The Boat" debuts on Feb. 4.