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Actor under fire for role in Spanish comedy skit

2014-05-28 11:27 CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Gu Liping
Chinese actor Gao Wenjun。 [Photo: xinhua]

Chinese actor Gao Wenjun. [Photo: xinhua]

Chinese actor Gao Wenjun has come under fire for having appeared on Aida, a comedy sketch by Spain's Telecinco that featured a "No Dogs or Chinese" sign in one of its scenes.

Gao, who is in his early 30s, came to Spain five years ago and now lives in Barcelona as an actor. He played a small role on Aida as "Wang," a character who appeared in a pub that has a sign saying "No Dogs or Chinese" on it. He has since received insults and threats on his Facebook page.

Gao apologized for his role during a telephone interview with Xinhua and explained that he only received the script two days prior to shooting and rehearsed without the scenes set up.

Gao says he appeared for a very short while in the show and overlooked the sign during the shooting.

The actor says, as an expat Chinese, he never intended to humiliate the image of China or fellow overseas Chinese, but he feels nonetheless guilty for his role.

The interaction between Gao's character, Wang, and the pub owner in the skit, "racist Mauricio," is meant to pay tribute to Chinese Kung Fu actor, Bruce Lee, with a Spanish sense of dark humor, when Mauricio begged for mercy after Wang cracked open a watermelon with one blow from his bare hand, according to Gao.

The actor asks people to stop leaving insulting comments on his Facebook page because it "not only shows your opinion, it also shows the image of Chinese people."

The controversial scene with the sign sparked outrage from the overseas Chinese community, as well as from people in China after the show was aired.

Spain's embassy in China has issued an official apology through its website. Manuel Valencia, Spain's ambassador to China, said, "The opinions voiced by this fictional character in no way represent the feeling of Spanish society," adding that Chinese citizens are "valued, respected and loved for their contribution to the community".

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