Home World TVB blackface: Hong Kong broadcaster accused of racism

TVB blackface: Hong Kong broadcaster accused of racism

One of Hong Kong’s leading broadcasters aired a TV show featuring some of the characters just months after being accused of racism for dressing an actor in brownface.
Blackface is considered highly offensive and racist in many parts of the world – especially in North America – but in recent years, there have been several controversies about skin darkening in Asian entertainment.
In an episode of the sitcom Come Home Love that aired on Monday, one scene showed a funeral service that mimicked t which went viral on social media a few years ago.
Except that the cast of the show on TVB, Hong Kong’s largest free-to-air broadcaster, had their faces painted black.
TVB said on Wednesday that the characters “wore special makeup” for the “dramatic plot” and that their “faces were smeared with car exhaust.”

“It was never our intention to disrespect or discriminate (against) anyone,” it said.

The Come Home Love scene at the center of the controversy featured actors in blackface impersonating the dancing Ghanaian sidekicks that went viral on social media a few years ago. credit: TVB

In its statement, the TV channel did not apologize.

It also didn’t explain why this storyline involved dancing Ghanaian blacks who happen to be black, and why it needed blackface to play on the meme.
There was no widespread social media reaction or criticism of the episode in Hong Kong.
In April, TVB aired a series in which actors darkened their skin to portray people from the Philippines.
This caused outrage, especially in the city’s large Filipino community, and TVB issued an apology.

Then there was also no wave of criticism locally, and the series received positive reviews without discussing race.

The Hong Kong government’s Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) told AFP that “impersonation or disguise cannot and should not automatically equate to sarcasm, ridicule or discrimination”.
“Having said that, producers and artists should pay attention to sensitive social issues so as not to be seen as irresponsible,” the EOC added.
Similar disputes have surfaced in other Asian countries.
Last year, the Malaysian pop star apologized for using a dark-skinned woman in a music video promoting a skin-whitening product.
Singapore’s state broadcaster apologized in 2019 for an ad featuring an actor of Chinese descent with dark skin.

The long-running television series in the Philippines has also been criticized for overshadowing three light-skinned actors who played characters from the Aeta indigenous communities.


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