The 1983 film featured Asian waiters singing 'Deck The Halls' with "fa ra ra ra ra"
Producers of the 2017 rendition of A Christmas Story Live! have revamped the controversial ‘racist’ Chinese restaurant scene from the original.
Based on the Jean Shepherd story from the 1983 film and 2009 Broadway musical, the live Fox production of A Christmas Story is set in the 1940s. The plot sees little Ralphie (Andy Walken) try to convince his parents to buy him a Red Ryder range-model BB gun for Christmas.
In the 1983 film, Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) and the Parker family visit a Chinese restaurant called Chop Suey Palace on Christmas Day. Waiters in the restaurant sing the classic carol ‘Deck the Halls’ with stereotypical mispronunciation, which many condemned as racist.
Instead of singing “fa la la la la”, the waiters sing “fa ra ra ra ra”. The restaurant owner tries to correct them, but they continue to sing “fa ra ra ra ra”.
In the 2017 rendition, a cappella group The Filharmonic perform the same carol but with perfect pronunciation.
Comedian Ken Jeong also features in the scene as one of the restaurant’s staff. The actor revealed that changes were made to the script before he agreed to be part of the film. He added that his career “has been about tackling these sensitivities.”
The Filharmonic tweeted a photo from the film set with the caption, “Quick shoutout to the amazing @kenjeong. Was such an honor to work with such an amazing guy #AsianAmericanRepresentation.”
Quick shoutout to the amazing @kenjeong. was such an honor to work with such an amazing guy #AsianAmericanRepresentation 🙌🏽🙌🏽🙌🏽 #achristmasstorylive https://t.co/guuAeqaCFE pic.twitter.com/1Qm0rqvEh1
— The Filharmonic (@TheFilharmonic) December 18, 2017
Fans praised Fox for adapting the scene but critics slammed the production company for being too politically correct.
One user tweeted, “#AChristmasStoryLive amazing way to handle the offensive version of Deck the Halls from the movie by addressing and expertly avoiding it while still making a hilarious scene! Bravo!”
“#AChristmasStoryLive pretty disappointed that we have to change the Chinese restaurant scene because people are too sensitive these days. Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra,” said another.
#AChristmasStoryLive amazing way to handle the offensive version of Deck the Halls from the movie by addressing and expertly avoiding it while still making a hilarious scene! Bravo! (Also, @kenjeong is amazing)
— CJ Roche (@ceej_roche) December 18, 2017
#AChristmasStoryLive pretty disappointed that we have to change the Chinese restaurant scene because people are too sensitive these days. Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra…..
— James Jeffry (@JamesJeffryHall) December 18, 2017
The Chinese restaurant scene in #AChristmasStoryLive without the Fa Ra Ra Ra Ra sums up this shitshow perfectly.
A Politically Correct Christmas Story.
— Cultural Combat (@CulturalCombat) December 18, 2017
So #AChristmasStoryLive got kudos for not having the staff at the Chinese restaurant sing “fa ra ra ra,” but it was OK to add a stereotypical joke about Jews going to Chinese restaurants and the movies on Christmas day?
— EllenE929 (@EllenE929) December 18, 2017
in Chinese, there aren’t l + r sounds, so native speakers of Chinese don’t form the ability to distinguish between those, unless they start learning English young.
If your humor solely relies on making fun of an accent, you need to get better at comedy #AChristmasStoryLive
— Christopher Huang (@chr1shuang) December 18, 2017
They fixed the Chinese restaurant scene in the most perfect way. “What were you expecting?” Haha good job #AChristmasStoryLive 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
— سحر الشمري 🌈 (@xS7R_22) December 18, 2017
#AChristmasStoryLive People are calling the Chinese restaurant scene from the original racist? Get a fucking life.
— Pork (@porktastical) December 18, 2017