A Chinese diplomat to Spain has demanded an apology from a TV station that broadcast a show he said insulted Chinese people.
Charge d’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Spain Huang Yazhong wrote a letter to Telecinco's chairman and director general in protest against a “racist” sketch that featured in the channel’s New Year Gala.
“In the show titled Mesa para Dos [Table for Two], a clown wearing strange ‘Chinese clothes’ jumped up and down, making all sorts of exaggerated gestures,” he wrote in the letter published on the embassy’s website. “What’s more, the other actors openly insulted Chinese people using words so vulgar it would make any educated person blush.”
The customers twice say “este Chino es gilipolla”, which means “This Chinese guy is an idiot”.
The actor spoke in broken Spanish and implied the restaurant served dog and cat meat, which Huang said was an obvious reference to a false rumour that a dog’s microchip was found in a beef dish at a Chinese restaurant last year.
“I don’t know if the creators of this show are proud and prejudiced or if they made this trashy show just for ratings. But objectively it has already hurt the feelings of Chinese people in Spain and Chinese people around the world. This is an undeniable fact,” he wrote. “When wrong, you should change. When you hurt other people, you should apologise.”
Huang added that he did not believe most Spanish people enjoyed the “vulgar” show and the 180,000 Chinese people who live in Spain shared in the economic ups-and-downs of the country.
“Perhaps … Telecinco is a commercial TV station and only cares about ratings, so 180,000 Chinese people is a small enough audience to ignore,” Huang wrote. “But I would like to draw your attention that behind these 180,000 Chinese people stand another 1.3 billion Chinese people from the world’s most populous country and second largest economy! … even if you don’t care damaging your country’s reputation in China, at least please observe basic civility and social image of a broadcaster.”
Video: A CCTV news report about a 'racist' Spanish TV show
An earlier version of this story named the TV station in question as Tele 5, its previous name. We apologise for the error.