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The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) has landed themselves in hot water after an episode of Horrible Histories was slammed as being 'racist' by Chinese viewers.
The episode in question focuses on the story of ancient Chinese Empress Wu Zetian, the only woman to ever rule China.
However, an article by China's state-controlled Global Times claims the episode had drawn outrage and condemnation from Chinese-Australians for its 'controversial content suggesting insects, rats and hair are used in normal Chinese recipes, which they believe is racism and demand for an apology.'
The article continued "In an episode of the series, ancient China Empress Wu Zetian, who is played by a white actress, is eating insects, rats, jellyfish and hair, and invites two modern visitors, the program's hosts, to join the meal."
"As the visitors act disgusted, 'Wu' explained it was 'perfectly normal' to eat insects in China in the Tang Dynasty (618-907)."
The ABC has since responded to the claim, denying that the episode featured a white woman playing the role of a Chinese woman, explaining that the actress, Sophie Wu, is British-born and of Chinese heritage.
An ABC spokesperson told News.com.au: "The ABC has received some complaints, which will be considered by ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs as is our usual practice."
However, Chen Hong, the professor and director of the Australian Studies Centre of East China Normal University, believes that such a depiction could worsen racial tensions.
Hong said: "The program was also aired at the moment when some Western politicians constantly attacked China for COVID-19 outbreaks, launching smear campaign against the Chinese culture especially the food culture, which is indeed seen as malicious and offensive."
The drama comes after The Wiggles were forced to issue an apology after a clip surfaced on social media which featured the group performing a song about a popular Indian cuisine, with many labelling the tune as being an offensive stereotype of Indian culture.
Blue Wiggle Anthony Field has since taken to Twitter to apologise for the song, which he said was meant to be 'a celebration' of Indian culture.
He tweeted: "I wrote the song, and directed the clip in 2014 (which was meant as a celebration), it was not my intention to be culturally insensitive to the Indian community, or to add value to ethnic stereotyping. Apologies.
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