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.
The skit was apparently intended to celebrate Chinese-African ties but it all went downhill after a black performer playing a monkey appeared on stage next to an Asian actress in blackface makeup and a giant fake bottom.
Social media users criticized the scene for being “disgusting” and “completely racist” on Twitter and Weibo, a popular Chinese social platform, after it played on Thursday.
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...February 16, 2018
“I have never seen more awkwardness and blatant discrimination than this,” one user wrote on Weibo.
Another added: “This is plain racism, the foreign media are going to explode.”
The show, titled CCTV New Year’s Gala but is also known as Spring Festival Gala, is an annual broadcast show that has up to 800 million viewers each year.
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The scene began with a musical dance by African performers in exaggerated traditional African wear, but it was the skit that followed which deeply offended viewers at home.
After the musical, the dancers exited the stage and a male host appeared. He then introduced a character played by Chinese actress Lou Naiming, who was wearing blackface, a basket of fruit on her head and huge fake buttocks. A monkey - played by a black actor - accompanied Lou on stage.
Articles critical of the skit began appearing on Chinese social media sites following the performance, but many have since been removed by censors, reported the South China Morning Post.
Watch the sketch below:
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