After a 2017 Chinese photo exhibition that sparked anger for its depiction of Africans as wild animals, and a Chinese laundry detergent commercial in which a black man who was ‘cleaned’ in a washing machine came out as a Chinese man in 2016, the country has been hit again with another racism accusation.
This time around the country’s most-watched festival on CCTV is being criticized for featuring what has been described as a racist sketch involving an Asian woman with a painted black face and large fake buttocks. The sketch was broadcast from the CCTV Spring Festival Gala, an annual variety show, watched by over 800 million people.
In the comedy sketch, a young African woman is seen asking a male Chinese host if he could help her convince her mother that he is her boyfriend in order for her not to go on a blind date.
The woman’s mother was an Asian actress with her face painted black. She arrived on stage with a fruit bowl on her head and was followed around by a man dressed as a monkey with a basket on his back.
The sketch ended with the mother expressing Africa’s love for China and the Chinese people in Chinese. This may have been a move to highlight Chinese-African ties, but many have seen it as offensive to Africans.
— What’s on Weibo (@WhatsOnWeibo) February 15, 2018
The sketch has since been criticized on China’s social media, which is deeply censored, and on Twitter.
Here are some of the responses:
What a “great” racist performance! Let Chinese act as black men and the real black people act as monkeys? Wtf! I feel so shameful that I’ve seen this Spring Festival Gala Show on New Year’s Eve! Yeah!Try to tell us that Chinese are racists? Damn!
— Dumb bae (@hey9cday) February 16, 2018
CCTV Spring Festival Gala’s ‘Racist’ Africa Comedy Sketch is embarrassing. The Chinese online community are the first to kick off when they are wronged ie Heathrow Airport vouchers https://t.co/lCjm2t1DEc
— QbIx08 (@QbIx08) February 16, 2018
— Gearóid Ged Carroll… happy Chinese New Year (@r_c) February 15, 2018
ASHAMED. On the spring festival gala a Chinese actress played a stereotypical black woman and the entire performance was racist. Such a gala holding billions of viewers really should have emphasized more on censoring contents like this rather than boasting self-deluding slogans..
— AnyaSeasons (@anyaseasons) February 15, 2018
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
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