But the series was anything but a laughing matter to several reporters at TCA who found much of the show's cultural humor racist and offensive.
What was designed as a promotional question and answer session became a contentious session surrounding the question of political correctness, with the show's producers and cast members on the defensive as reporters bashed them.
However, "Dads" contains the same tone and rhythm of
On the show,
Much of the show's racial humor has already sparked heavy controversy from critics.
To impress Chinese clients, the partners instruct one of their Asian female employees (
Martin Mull, who plays Ribisi's character's father, tries to interrupt the meeting, telling his son, "The Chinese are a lovely and honorable people, but you can't trust them." He makes other cultural jokes, including a scene where he sees his son watching a boxing match and asks if he's watching "Punch the Puerto Rican."
Creator and executive producer Alec Sulkin and other producers indicated they are tinkering with the show's humor and tone. "There are things we will change or tweak a bit. If we miss the mark a few times in the pilot, we will do better. The important thing is that it be funny."
Executive producer Mike Scully, a veteran of
But the show's cast took exception to the allegatons that the show was racially offensive. Green pointed out that TV is "historically a provocative medium.... We've become a very careful culture," adding that he's had many discussions with people "about what they consider racist."
He added that the comedy of the show comes from men who come from two generations with different points of views.
Mull said in comedy there needs to be an antogonist. "You need someone to be a jerk in order to see the other side."
Referring to the scene with the Asian girl and the client, Sulkin said that he thought it would lead to humor. "If it didn't land, we understand that."
Vanessa Lachey, who plays Ribisi's character's Latino wife, said that she felt the show's humor was appropriate and took a humorous approach to the way people deal with cultural differences, noting that the show is getting out in front of the joke.
Song said, "If you can't laugh at yourself, you can't joke at all."
Quipped Green, "Just to be fair, this is a disparaging portrayal of white men."