Famous Italian TV hosts have faced criticism for making racist gestures against Asian people on air. Michelle Hunziker and Gerry Scotti, the co-hosts of Italian satirical show “Striscia la Notizia” on Canale 5, imitated Asian accents and pinched up their eyes in laughter during an episode aired on Tuesday, according to The Independent.
While introducing the Beijing-based network “RAI,” Scotti called it “LAI” repeatedly and laughed out loud. Hunziker also made meaningless sounds with her eyes slanted up. Their acts during the show constitute racism implying that Asians have a poor pronunciation of the “R” sound. Around 4.7 million viewers watched the show.
After this racism-loaded clip was posted on an Instagram account of “Diet Prada,” a fashion industry watchdog group, the two TV hosts came under criticism across social media with roaring angry replies added to the post - “Shameful as an Italian,” “Apologize officially on air,” etc. The “#StopAsianHate” movement has spread across social media. As Hunziker, an actress and model, and Scotti, a former member of the Italian Parliament, have publicly voiced for the rights of LGBTs and women, their offensive acts have driven many people into a state of fury.
Hunziker on Wednesday apologized on her Instagram account, saying, “It wasn’t my intention.” She added that it is a sensitive moment when there is a growing public awareness of people’s rights, acknowledging her fault of neglecting the severity of the situation. Nevertheless, public anger is still high over the show “Striscia la Notizia” as a cast member used offensive expression “N****,” referring to black kids, last month.