Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Health | By Jay Jacobs

China: Woman in blackface celebrating new year causes outrage

China: Woman in blackface celebrating new year causes outrage

A "racist" comedy sketch on China's most popular Lunar New Year TV show has sparked worldwide outrage for appropriating African culture and using blackface.

According to the BBC, the skit was set around people working on the Nairobi-Mombasa railway project.

The plot of the 13-minute skit sees the presenter's African friend ask him to pose as her date to avoid a blind date her mother had set up for her. I understand he has a job to do, but if he can't do his job without offensive racial mimicry and blackface, then that's just sad.

In addition, the character of the African villager is accompanied by a monkey carrying a basket on his head, played by an African man according to the New York Times (the actor is not visible under his costume). For the objective of a humorous sketch, Lou Naiming embodied the mother of an African student eager to study in China, according to Reuters.

Articles critical of the skit began appearing on Chinese social media sites following the performance, but many have since been removed by censors, reported South China Morning Post. "I want to be like Chinese people - to roll up my sleeves and work, to earn the praise of the world".

A blackface sketch on Chinese television drew criticism and ridicule.

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Video: Chinese state TV lambasted for 'racist' Lunar New Year sketch featuring actor in blackface

The arms and face colored black, Lou Naiming also had padding in her buttocks area giving her the appearance of a plump villager ...

One Weibo user said: "The problem with this segment is its narcissism".

Indeed, ties have been tightened considerably between China and Africa, since Beijing has never invested as much on the African continent as in the last fifteen years. It has exploded in foreign media.

The aftermath resulted in many people speaking out against the show and its racist implications, with one person writing online that "CCTV's racist show during Spring Gala shook me and made so ashamed of China and my people", Sky News reports. SupChina writer Anthony Tao said it was not meant to offend but the producers "are guilty of laziness or ignorance or most likely both".

The New Year's Gala variety show was watched by as many as 800 million people on CCTV, the state broadcaster, Thursday night on what was New Year's Eve in the lunar calendar and a Chinese national holiday. Since then, the number has reportedly risen to 700 million.

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