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Singaporean TV Channel forced to apologise twice for racist ‘blackface’ scene


By Charlotte McEleny, Asia Editor

October 26, 2016 | 2 min read

Singaporean TV Channel Toggle has had to apologise twice after a TV show depicted a Chinese actor putting on blackface in order to play an Afro-American character.

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Toggle is forced to apologise for racist 'blackface' episode

The channel aired the episode of its show ‘I Want To Be A Star’ this month and instantly faced a social media backlash as viewers were offended by the scene.

It issued its first apology this week on Twitter, claiming that it was sorry for what people “perceived” as being a racist scene, which wasn’t what it had intended. For most people with any sensitivity to race issues, it’d be quite obvious that blackface is without question a racist move. People were quick to point out that the use of “perceived” was therefore little in the way of an apology.

The TV channel has since apologised again to Marketing magazine, claiming that the initial apology came out wrong and that it took “race-related issues very seriously”.

There has been a few instances of Asian media organisations treading thin water over racist content. An Air China in-flight magazine was criticised for its racist guide to London and Chinese laundry detergent Qiaobi was slammed for its racist ad depicting a black man being turned lighter in the wash.

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