Chinese New Year TV show sparks fury with blackface sketch

  • Chinese New Year TV show sparks fury with blackface sketch

Chinese New Year TV show sparks fury with blackface sketch

This practice called "blackface", which consists of "disguising itself as black", has the original goal of "painting people of color in a bad light".

While Lunar New Year celebrations may be best known for food, fireworks and family reunions, in China the holiday is also epitomized by a single TV show. But this year, under the sign of the Dog Earth, supposed to be a positive element, has started badly for some.

Others declared the sketch, aired during the "CCTV Spring Festival Gala" that traditionally draws hundreds of millions of viewers, an embarrassment.

Still, even China's state-run tabloid Global Times has conceded interest in the often rambling program is waning: "The gala was previously regarded as a must-watch for many in China on the Eve of Chinese New Year, but has suffered from a decline of viewership and popularity in recent years", it said after the 2017 telecast.

But the African mother says she can't be angry because 'China has done so much for Africa'.

The older woman is wearing a traditional dress but proclaims after their conversation: "I love China!". The Chinese actress said, "Why don't you agree?" Lou replies adding "A Chinese volunteer medical team saved my life when I was young".

A Chinese actress playing her mother then appears in blackface followed by an actor in a monkey costume.

"CCTV's racist show during Spring Gala shook me and made me so ashamed of China and my people", user Huizit wrote. I love Chinese people!

Accusation of racism did not take long to come.

Blogger Chen Fei Tutu asked, "Is this our nation propagating Chinese values?"

Na, who sung at the closing ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, shot to fame in the 1990s with her hit "Conquering" and has more recently become a staple of Chinese television singing talent shows.

In 2016, a laundry detergent company in China apologised after running an advertisement in which a black man was stuffed headfirst into a washing machine only to emerge a moment later as a fair-skinned Asian man.

Another skit celebrated China's relationship with Africa, a key part of Xi's Belt and Road initiative, complete with an African actress speaking in Chinese and quoting Xi.

Although the skit, titled "Same Joy, Same Happiness, ' was meant to celebrate Sino-African relations, many viewers condemned it online, with some calling it 'cringe worthy" and 'completely racist'.