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China demands apology from ABC over "racist" kids show

China demands apology from ABC over "racist" kids show

A diplomatic fight has broken out between China and Australia after China demanded a formal apology for a "racist" kids show shown on the ABC.

China has demanded a formal apology from the Australian Broadcasting Network due to the show implying that eating insects, rats, jellyfish and hair is an everyday part of Chinese cuisine.

The show in question is Horrible Histories and had an episode focusing on ancient Chinese Empress Wu Zetian, the only woman to ever rule China.

The state-controlled Global Times in China has claimed that the children's program has drawn outrage and condemnation from Chinese-Australians for “broadcasting a children’s television series with controversial content suggesting insects, rats and hair are used in normal Chinese recipes, which they believe is racism and demand for an apology.”

“In an episode of the series, ancient China Empress Wu Zetian, who is played by a white actress, is eating insects, rats, jellyfish and hair, and invites two modern visitors, the program’s hosts, to join the meal,’’ the article states.

“As the visitors act disgusted, “Wu” explained it was “perfectly normal” to eat insects in China in the Tang Dynasty (618-907).”

A spokesperson for the ABC has denied the episode represented an example of a white person masquerading as Asian, saying that the actress, Sophie Wu, was British-born but has Chinese heritage.

“The ABC has received some complaints, which will be considered by ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs as is our usual practice,’’ an ABC spokesman told news.com.au.

Chinese citizens aren't happy with the episode either.

“This kind of racist behaviour is indeed too narrow-minded for a country,” a netizen (a citizen) wrote on China’s Twitter-like social networking platform Weibo.

“It’s uncanny how they are always talking about anti-racism and they are actually the meanest racists,” another one commented.

“We also need an apology,” a Chinese student in Australia told the Global Times, “Hopefully ABC and CBBC can prove that they are really against racial discrimination, and not just another biased Westerners playing with double standards.”