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Spanish TV comedy angers China   

西班牙电视五台再曝辱华事件 屡触华人底线为哪般

2014-05-22 14:05 China.org.cn Web Editor: Gu Liping
The Spanish TV station Telecinco, or Tele 5, has once again broadcast a comedy show insulting the Chinese people. [Photo: eulam.com]

The Spanish TV station Telecinco, or Tele 5, has once again broadcast a comedy show insulting the Chinese people. [Photo: eulam.com]

The Spanish TV station Telecinco, or Tele 5, has once again broadcast a comedy show insulting the Chinese people, following similar incidents last year and five months ago, Chinanews.com reported.

In its latest program of the "AIDA" series on May 15, a Chinese person named "Wang" enters a Spanish bar, but a customer points at a signboard carrying the words "Chinese and dogs are not allowed to enter." Then, wearing a pair of rubber gloves for cleaning toilets, the customer drives the Chinese out of the bar.

The show has evoked strong indignation among the local Chinese community, especially those in the restaurant business, who think the show has severely insulted the Chinese people. The character "Wang", who runs a food store, has been mocked in every episode of this program. The actor this time was reported to be a Japanese student.

It was not the first time that this particular TV station had provoked the Chinese community in Spain. Five months ago, it broadcast another comedy show that insulted the Chinese people and mocked the quality and service in Chinese restaurants.

The offending comedy, which went out on the privately owned Telecinco channel on New Year's Eve, showed a Spanish actor playing a hapless Chinese waiter. With a long braid and wearing a skullcap and Chinese costume, he jumped up and down and made all sorts of exaggerated gestures. What's more, the show implied the Chinese restaurant served dog and cat meat.

The local Chinese community immediately held an emergency meeting and submitted a letter of protest to the Tele 5 station. The Chinese Embassy in Spain also sent a letter of protest to the president and director of Tele 5, expressing strong condemnation and demanding an apology.

At a regular press conference on Jan. 9, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying also demanded an apology from the Spanish side, saying that "we think the Spanish television channel involved should acknowledge its mistakes, respond to the legitimate public demands sincerely, take measures to eliminate the negative effect caused by the incident, and learn from the incident to avoid a similar event happening again."

With pressure from all sides, the Spanish TV station finally issued an open letter of apology, saying it was a misunderstanding and "may be a misunderstanding that led to Chinese people's feelings being hurt." The TV station also said it "did not intend to ridicule or belittle the Chinese people, not to mention initiating any racist attacks on the Chinese community."

At the end of the letter, the station promised that, "in any case, in our future artist activity development, we will avoid anything that might arouse protests. We have sincere respect for Chinese culture, and this will be reflected in our future cultural works."

The television station has a "long history" in humiliating the Chinese people, according the Chinanews.com. Last year, it aired a show that accused Chinese restaurants in Madrid of serving dubious meat, implying it might be dog, cat or even human meat.

The incident triggered strong protests from the Spanish Association of Chinese Foods Suppliers and the local Chinese community.

There were three similar incidents in just a year. The latest incident circulated widely among the local Chinese community, who finally decided to take action to stop further insults.

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