China’s TV New Year Celebration Features Blackface Performance

Credit: AP News

The Chinese state broadcasters CCTV annually televises live variety shows, which draws hundreds of millions of viewers.

However, CCTV is facing criticism for its depiction of Chinese performers in black makeup during its lunar year entertainment spectacle.

CCTV’s ‘Africa song and dance’ performance came at the start of the Spring festival gala for the Lunar year of the Ox.

During the show, Chinese dancers were in African style costumes and wore dark makeup. They danced and beat drums as their part of their performance.

This depiction did not go down well with Black advocacy groups who have labelled it as culturally insensitive and racist.

The Chinese government said that it is a sign of respect for the African culture.

This is not the first time CCTV has broadcasted such a thing. In 2018 it depicted Chinese performers with dark makeup and a monkey, which was met with severe backlash and criticisms.

Black Livity China, a group of people of African descent who work and have links with China, have described it as ‘extremely disappointing’.

Black China Caucus, an activist caucus, also tweeted that it hopes this practice would end, and that they should hire black people living in China for such activities.

This comes at a time where China is accused of discriminating against Blacks living in China during the COVID pandemic. With social media awash with images supposedly confirming it.

China tries to promote an image of solidarity with African states.

The Chinese ministry said the integration of elements of African culture is a sign of respect.

Is China taking advantage of it’s economic support for Africa to discriminate against Africans in China?

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