A four-hour televised special celebrating the Lunar New Year in China has come under fire earlier this month, due to one particular sketch involving an Asian actress performing in blackface.
During the short skit, actress Lou Naiming appeared on stage wearing colorful clothing and carrying a plate of fruit on her head. In addition to wearing what appeared to be purposefully exaggerated fake buttocks and breasts, Naiming's skin was painted brown, and she was accompanied by an actor (possibly a black man) dressed as a monkey, BBC World News reports.
According to the New York Post, during the brief scene, Naiming's character interacts with her daughter, portrayed by a black actress, who's afraid of telling her mother about her dreams to study in China.
"Why wouldn't I agree? A Chinese volunteer medical team saved my life when I was young. Now Chinese kids are building a railroad for us," Naiming's character reportedly replies, later adding, "I love Chinese people. I love China!"
"China has done so much for Africa," Naiming's character reportedly also says.
As the New York Times points out, the skit — set in Kenya — is likely referencing China's efforts to improve relations with Africa. However, the special, which was televised by China's state broadcaster and reportedly viewed by millions, drew criticism online for its use of blackface.
The controversial skit can be viewed below.