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Pet Sins January 2001

Chinese official state TV supports AWWM but avoids AWBM

I've noticed that China Central Television's English news channel (presumably targeted a foreigners, including overseas Chinese) strongly favored pairing a white male anchor with a Chinese female anchor. The AMWW combination is seldom seen.

I can understand that news stations operating in the West need to appeal to Western prejudices by keeping to "safe, popular" IR combinations, e.g. a white male anchor paired with a female anchor of color (preferably light-skinned), but to think that Asians still feel obligated to grovel to Western tastes on their own home turf, that seriously shows some "slave-mentality" or deep insecurity. Another example of how people of color perpetuate their own oppression.

What is even more revealing of racial prejudices in miscegenation is a Lunar New Year program in which a number of foreign men dressed in Chinese garb to amuse and impress the Chinese audience with their excellent Chinese-speaking skills. All the men were white except for the sole African. The conversation, staged for humor, came to the point of explaining how the foreigners became fluent in Chinese. Each white man credited his Chinese wife. Then the white men turned to the black man, who was the last to speak. They asked him if he had a wife. The young man replied that he was a student, and fully focused on his studies, and had no interest in dating. Upon which the audience erupted in laughter.

It is clear that the writers of the program were going out of their way to avoid a Chinese-woman-black-man scenario while bombarding the audience with the existence of European-man-Chinese-woman couples at every turn.

B.N.
2008