Chinese TV features blackface performers in New Year’s gala

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state TV included dancers in blackface depicting Africans during a broadcast celebrating the Lunar New Year. The program aired as Asia welcomed the Year of the Ox with subdued festivities amid travel curbs to contain renewed coronavirus outbreaks. China Central Television’s Spring Festival Gala is one of the world’s most-watched TV programs and has used blackface in the past. The “African Song and Dance” performance Thursday included dancers in African-style costumes and dark face makeup beating drums. The five-hour program also included tributes to nurses, doctors and others who fought the coronavirus pandemic. Festivities throughout East Asia are muted after many governments appealed to the public to avoid travel and big gatherings.