Chinese Embassy rejects Swedish TV station’s apology

By Yin Han Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/25 22:28:40

The Chinese Embassy in Stockholm has rejected an apology from Sveriges Television (SVT) for a racially charged skit and urged the station to make a "sincere apology."

TV show manager Thomas Hall's explanation intentionally avoided "the content in the program that concerned racism and we do not accept such an 'apology,'" the Embassy said in a statement on its official WeChat account on Tuesday.

"We once again urge SVT and the program to introspect and make a sincere apology immediately," the statement said.

The controversial show that aired on SVT on Friday night included a satirical fake public information video where a fake presenter condescendingly instructed Chinese tourists on how to use a washbasin in a toilet and called Chinese people "racists."

The pretend presenter then went on to say that Sweden advocates equal rights for all but that "doesn't apply to Chinese people."

On Monday night the television station issued a statement on its website where Hall said the intention of the skit was to "highlight a Swedish problem" that "sinophobia still does not have the same sensitivity as other racism in Sweden."

The editorial board made a mistake not uploading the entire show, meaning the real message got lost in translation, Hall said.

"The purpose of posting the story on Youku was to capture Chinese reactions. This was a mistake by us when the whole of our message got lost, and we can understand that it saddened individuals. We regret that."

Producer Jan Helin said SVT would not apologize for the show to China, the report said.

"I assume that Chinese authorities are able to distinguish between satire and news," Helin said.

Yu Guoming, a professor at Beijing Normal University's School of Journalism and Communication told the Global Times, "The program was built on the pain of other people and it's worth questioning its function and value."

The producer, director and related personnel would be jailed if the show was considered racial discrimination, People's Daily reported on Monday, citing "a source familiar with Swedish law."

Liu Chun, a media practitioner with more than 8 million followers on Sina Weibo, called for a boycott of Sweden on Saturday which received hundreds of supporting comments.

Some net users listed dozens of Swedish brands as a reference for a boycott while others urged calm. Net users have bombarded the Facebook page of show presenter Jesper Rönndahl.

His page had received more than 12,000 negative comments and images as of press time.


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