10/06/2016 03:52 EDT | Updated 10/06/2016 04:03 EDT

Fox News Chinatown Segment Blasted For Being 'Blatantly Racist'

He says it was meant to be a "light piece."

Fox News isn't exactly a stranger to controversy, but a recent segment has landed the network in a maelstrom of outrage both online and off.

For a segment on "The O'Reilly Factor," reporter Jesse Watters took to New York City's Chinatown to ask locals about the U.S. election.

The "Watters' World" segment aired on Monday. (Photo: Fox News/YouTube)

The clip's intended premise seems innocent enough. The show's host, Bill O'Reilly, said the idea was inspired by the number of times China was brought up during the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

But critics say the "Watters' World" segment, which aired Monday, stereotyped Asians and even amounted to stalking and harassment.

In the clip, Watters asks people about the presidential candidates, but footage from movies like "Chinatown" and "The Karate Kid" is played throughout the segment.

Watters also asks two women if he is "supposed to bow to say hello” and inquires whether a vendor's watches were "hot."

Watters even gets a foot massage at one point and asks the masseuse if she could play "this little piggy went to market."

Activists and politicians are participating in a protest planned for Thursday outside the channel's headquarters in Manhattan, according to NBC New York.

"It's 2016," Said Paul Cheung, president of the Asian American Journalists Association in a statement sent to Fox.

"We should be far beyond tired, racist stereotypes and targeting an ethnic group for humiliation and objectification on the basis of their race."

The segment also received a lot of flak on social media:

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio described Watters' actions as vile and racist.

After the clip sparked a storm of controversy, Watters took to Twitter on Wednesday to say that the segment was meant to be a "light piece." He also apologized if anyone was offended by it.

Also on HuffPost

Photo gallery Spectacular Fox News FAILS See Gallery