Chinese TV show slammed over blackface actress, black actor in monkey suit

An Asian actress appears in blackface and with an exaggerated rear end and a fruit basket for a hat.
An Asian actress appears in blackface and with an exaggerated rear end and a fruit basket for a hat. Photo credit: CCTV/YouTube

A skit on China's most popular New Year TV show has come under criticism and accusations of racism.

In a comedy routine celebrating Chinese-African ties, an Asian actress appears in blackface and with an exaggerated rear end and a fruit basket for a hat.

She plays the mother to a young black woman, and is accompanied by a black actor in a monkey suit.

BBC News reports the sketch highlighted China's investment in Africa, with the woman in blackface at one point telling her 'daughter' how much Africans love China.

"The sight… of a Chinese actress in blackface, leading an African man dressed as a monkey around a stage as a way of celebrating a vital trading relationship on prime-time national TV, seems particularly ill-judged," wrote BBC Beijing correspondent John Sudworth.

"Simply naive and clumsy? Or a sign of something deeper? Either way it suggests China's soft-power project is still a work in progress."

Many Chinese users of social media slammed the show, while others said many of the black actors on stage spoke perfect Chinese and understood the context.

The annual state media variety show is hugely popular, and has up to 800 million viewers - making it perhaps the most-watched entertainment TV show on the planet.

Chinese media has come under increasing criticism in recent years for its portrayal of black and African people.

Newshub.