Fox News Channel has promoted its monthly specials known as Watters’ World into a weekly series. The show will air at 8 PM Saturdays starting this weekend.
Jesse Watters will host the hourlong program that is an extension of his segments on The O’Reilly Factor, in which he interviews people on the street about the latest headlines. The Watters’ World series also will feature a rotating panel of commentators debating news of the day, as well as interviews with guests.
In conjunction with his role on The O’Reilly Factor, Watters serves as a correspondent, producer and managing editor for Fox Nation. He joined FNC in 2002 as a production assistant and has been working with O’Reilly’s show since 2003.
“I am humbled that Fox News Channel has given me this opportunity,” Watters said in today’s announcement, made by Fox News programming EVP Suzanne Scott. “I look forward to viewers entering my world more often and wouldn’t be in this position if it weren’t for Bill [O’Reilly].”
Watters’ segments for O’Reilly’s show sometimes have ignited controversy. Most recently, in October, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in on Watters’ visit to Chinatown, tweeting: “The vile, racist behavior of Fox’s Jesse Watters in Chinatown has no place in our city. @FoxNews – keep this guy off TV.”
Watters, in turn, tweeted an apology of sorts: “My man-on-the-street interviews are meant to be taken as tongue-in-cheek and I regret if anyone found offense. As a political humorist, the Chinatown segment was intended to be a light piece, as all Watters’ World segments are.”
In the segment, Watters asked people in the neighborhood for their thoughts on the election; if he’s supposed to bow when he addresses them; if the watches they’re selling are hot; if, in China, they call “Chinese food just ‘food’”; etc. He also confused his Chinese stereotypes with his Japanese stereotypes and explained that he was foisting himself on Chinatown because Donald Trump has made attacking China a centerpiece of his campaign.
New York’s Sen. Daniel Squadron also responded to that segment, saying: “Under the guise of asking residents of Manhattan’s Chinatown their thoughts on Donald Trump, O’Reilly Factor correspondent Jesse Watters brought the kind of disrespect to my constituents that has been all too common this election cycle: stereotyping, mockery and a thinly veiled disdain for immigrants. Unfortunately, one of the real costs of Trump’s divisiveness is the climate of racism and disrespect it’s made commonplace in our national discourse. That’s unacceptable in Chinatown, unacceptable in New York, and must be unacceptable on Fox News.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.