"Cringeworthy at best, completely racist at worst"
A Chinese New Year sketch on CCTV has been criticised for its “racist blackface”.
According to the BBC, the skit appeared on China’s biggest Lunar New Year TV show on state run television channel CCTV.
In the skit, an Asian actress is seen in blackface with exaggerated buttocks. The comedy routine was intended to celebrate Chinese-African ties but the use of makeup to represent black people has been deemed offensive.
African dancers are seen in tribal costumes whilst other people are dressed as zebras, giraffes, lions and antelopes. A young black woman asks a Chinese man to pretend to be her husband when he meets her mother, who is played by an Asian actor.
Walking on stage carrying a plate of fruit on her head, the actress is accompanied by a black actor in a monkey suit carrying a basket on his back.
According to the skit, Africans benefit from Chinese investment and are extremely grateful to Beijing. The African mother declares how much she loves China.
The skit was part of the annual four-hour CCTV New Year Gala, which has up to 800 million viewers. Some estimates declare it as the most watched entertainment programme int he world.
“CCTV’s racist show during Spring Gala shook me and made me so ashamed of China and my people,” wrote one Twitter user. “They literally had blackface on stage, had an African actor to play a monkey and a African actress yelling “I love China!” Racism is global y’all”
“It makes me feel like I’m living in the last century,” said another. “We are going to lose face internationally”.
Another comment read, “if an American white person painted yellow, says I love the USA and recites some Trump quotes while pulling his eyes, how would you feel?”
ugh the sketch on Africa during the @CCTV Spring Festival Gala (possibly the most watched show in the world) was cringeworthy at best, completely racist at worst. It’s Africa, so bring out tribal dancers & animals? And was that a Chinese woman in blackface with a fake posterior?
— Parthepan (@KTParthepan) February 15, 2018
CCTV’s racist show during Spring Gala shook me and made me so ashamed of China and my people. They literally had blackface on stage, had an African actor to play a monkey and a African actress yelling “I love China!” Racism is global y’all…
— Huizit (@iamHuizit) February 16, 2018
My first Chinese New Year watching the annual CCTV spring gala and they trot out a Chinese lady in blackface, exaggerated proportions and everything, with a pet “monkey” (played by a man from Cote D’Ivoire), shouting “I love China!” – I can’t even pic.twitter.com/n3J1YsRhmy
— Krish Raghav (@krishraghav) February 15, 2018
I am so sorry about that actually most Chinese doesn’t think this is racist. I am sorry about that… As a Chinese I feel so sorry and embarrassed… The director didn’t be more careful to judge the show…
— _SUA23 (@1161018096) February 15, 2018
We chinese have no original sin in the face of blacks 。In Beijing opera, we smear our faces in white as a treacherous role. Is that mean we discriminated against white people???? Don’t use your own standards to ask for others！！！！
— 814363186 (@arsenalmeng22) February 18, 2018