A Singaporean TV station just put an actor in blackface, with an afro-wig, in an online drama.
The episode is part a web series called I Want To Be A Star, which is produced by Mediacorp, the country’s state broadcaster.
It also contains other racial slurs. The plot revolves around a casting director who is looking for an African actor. One of the characters suggests using an Indian actor instead, claiming “there is no difference” between the two ethnicities, according to local news site Mothership.
The characters get a Chinese character, played by Singaporean actor Shane Pow, to paint his face black and dress up in an afro-wig to audition for the role of an African.
Predictably, the episode has drawn the ire of the online community. Singaporean-based Twitter user @seitanclaws first reminded MediaCorp of the nation’s creed, which said that every citizen is equal regardless of race:
sg: “regardless of race”
also sg: pic.twitter.com/5nKuPbIK2X
— the great depression (@zxanax) October 25, 2016
— I, Shigga Shay (@i_shigga) October 25, 2016
This is Ranbir Kapoor. He is an Indian actor. From India. Very fair. I know, shocking right Mediacorp? pic.twitter.com/8hJWzlvRVu
— Mr. H (@asonofapeach) October 26, 2016
The episode was removed on Wednesday and MediaCorp issued an apology afterwards:
— Toggle (@ToggleSG) October 25, 2016
It might be 2016, but it seems there’s a long way to go before racism is tackled in certain societies.