Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Chocolate girl – racism and reality TV in China

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Meet Lou Jing (娄婧), a mixed-race Chinese girl who is tormented in the following clip by presenters of the show Let’s Go! Oriental Angels (加油!东方天使). The contest, in which Lou Jing got to the final rounds of the Shanghai heat, has been running throughout August on Dragon TV. For those that need don't know Chinese, or who can't see the clip, a rough translation follows.









The patronising female presenter begins by asking: “Lou Jing, so you’re mixed race, how come your Chinese is so good?”


This is not the first time Lou Jing has been asked this irritating question. Un-phased, she replies: “My mum is Shanghainese, and I grew up in Shanghai.”


The questioning continues, “And your father is…”


Amid nervous laughter, Lou Jing slips in that her father is American.


However, presenter number two doesn’t let her get off the hook that easily. “Right up until Lou Jing was 16, she thought her father was Shanghainese… Ro

ll the clip!”


Next, cue the harrowing music. “20-year-old Lou Jing was born into a single-parent family. Her father was a black man of American nationality, who didn’t know he had made Lou Jing’s mother pregnant... He left Lou Jing’s mother and returned to the US... Lou Jing’s mother had no choice but to raise her daughter alone…”


Following what is edited as a horrific news item, two presenters go on to ask her whether she ever wanted to know more about her father. After all sorts of nonsense, the presenters really manage to bring on the waterworks by suggesting that “Daddy could be in some corner of the world listening to you now...”


Personally, I would have been upset enough about the way the show was put together. However, for Lou Jing, who became lovingly (?) refered to as “chocolate girl,” and her mother, things were about to get a lot worse as Chinese netizens sunk their teeth in.


Most of the attacks are aimed at the mother, who according to one netizen is a “whore” for messing around with a black guy. China Hush, where I originally found this story, has translated number of comments and opinion (read commentary translations here).


This is a touching story. One that might have been touching enough to constitute the first half of a Disney movie plot, if only her voice had been a bit easier to listen to. If you can bear it, listen below to more of chocolate girl.



9 comments:

Mark said...

What a shocking and painful story, damn, I hope that girl is ok. She seems like she's doing her best under the circumstances. I can't believe how mean-spirited those announcers and show-producers are. I think they did it on purpose to raise their ratings....

Anonymous said...

I am really sad to know that racism go on all over the world , being a ALL female and growing up in the south, where it is still going on today. I am tell Lou Jing to HOLD YOUR HEAD UP HIGH and understand that you must be a threat to some one who know you are SPECIAL. Hold on to what your family taught you And KICK BUTT IN THE WORLD because this is not the last we will see or heard of you.... Prayers are with you and your family. shandr

Justin said...

pitiful behavior,

but I suspect the announcers singled her not so much because of race but more of a traditional reaction towards what happened her mother being left.

Frankly, I admire her mother. Just imagine how brave she had to be to raise a a child by yourself in the face of all that social ostracism.

Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin said...

oh and they should fucking knock it off with those chocolate girl comments. not funny, hurtful and just makes them look ignorant

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