Chinese TV Station Faces Anger After Broadcasting Skit Featuring Blackface, Racist Stereotypes


A GROUP of netizens have slammed China's biggest Lunar New Year TV show over its apparent racial overtones during a comedy skit that featured a Chinese actress in a blackface with exaggerated buttocks.

The skit, which was apparently meant to celebrate China's relationship with African countries, came during the 2018 edition of the CCTV New Year's Gala - also known as the Spring Festival Gala - an annual variety show broadcast for the Lunar New Year that gets as many as 800 million viewers.

During the skit, a black woman can be seen asking the show's host to pose as her husband when meeting her mother in order to avoid being set up on a blind date.

The actress playing the mother of the woman was the Asian woman in blackface who had a "pet monkey".

"It's normal for Chinese actors to dress up like foreigners when performing a foreign play", said 80-year-old Zhou Hengshan. "This love story resolved as the enlarged-a** African mama proclaims her love for China and the building of railways". It's Africa, so bring out tribal dancers & animals?

Putting it into a larger context beyond the specific history of blackface, one user asks "if an American white person painted yellow, says I love the United States of America and recites some Trump quotes while pulling his eyes, how would you feel?"

A man burns incense as he prays on Friday the first day of the Lunar New Year at the Lama Temple in Beijing. MARK SCHIEFELBEIN  Associated Press
A man burns incense as he prays on Friday the first day of the Lunar New Year at the Lama Temple in Beijing. MARK SCHIEFELBEIN Associated Press

- Curtis S. Chin (@CurtisSChin) February 15, managed to take the "great white savior" mentality towards Africa & added Chinese characteristics to it on tonight's CNY gala's blackface skit. "And yes the way they express the idea is a bit wrong, but I think that's mainly because people don't really know a lot about racism in China because the race here is not so diverse".

Since 1983, viewing at least part of the Spring Festival Gala on the state-run China Central Television network, or CCTV, has been a national tradition.

Many criticised the skit on Twitter, as well as the Chinese equivalent of the site, Weibo.

One Reddit user, 1989slover, defended the skit by calling it "a comedy praising the relationship between China and Africa, so there's not any intent of racism".

By contrast, the audience for this year's NFL Super Bowl, typically the most-watched show in the USA, was 103.4 million viewers, according to NBC.

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