The Royal Wedding was watched by tens of millions of people in dozens of countries, and and least one country’s coverage of the event is being criticized for being downright racist, Yahoo News is reporting.
Announcers for German broadcaster ZDF, which is a state-owned network, apparently couldn’t get over Meghan Markle’s mixed-race background, or the fact that some of the people she invited to the event are black.
For example, the broadcasters kept mentioning the fact that Meghan is mixed-race.
“Meghan always wanted a Barbie doll family. But there were only white and black Barbie families [rather than mixed-race Barbies].”
The broadcasters also seemed fixated on Meghan and her mom’s hair. Consider this exchange between two broadcasters?
“Are those dreadlocks on Meghan’s mother?”
“It’s curly hair that’s been somewhat de-curled, same as Meghan probably does all the time.”
In another instance, the broadcasters used what is perhaps a poor choice of words to describe Karen Gibson and The Kingdom Choir, the African American choir that performed “Stand By Me.”
“The choir sang beautifully black.”
Then there were the repeated references to the African American guests being “exotic” (most of them were from the exotic and mysterious cities of L.A. and Chicago).
Michael Curry: “Our commitment to be an inclusive church is not based on a social theory or capitulation to the ways of the culture, but on our belief that the outstretched arms of Jesus on the Cross are a sign of the very love of God reaching out to us all.” pic.twitter.com/rB5Ca2b22j
— The Assisi Project (@_AssisiProject) May 19, 2018
Besides some quips that could be considered racist, the broadcasters also made some other questionable remarks: for example, professing that Victoria Beckham was dressed for “an appointment with a gynecologist” or saying that with her makeup on, “she’s like The Addams Family.”
Other German news outlets were horrified by the racist tone of the coverage, according to the English-language version of Deutsch Welle.
For example, Die Welt’s Nicola Erdmann called the coverage disrespectful.
“Airtime was filled with questionable remarks about Meghan’s origins, macho-language and cliches. There was no respect for spectators and people who were involved.”
Similarly, writing for Huffington Post Germany, Lennart Pfahler and Josh Groeneveld wished that the commentators would find something else to talk about.
“The station never tires of emphasizing that Meghan Markle … is black. Black, black, black. Can we please talk about hats again?”
In a statement, ZDF acknowledged that its coverage of the Royal Wedding has gotten intense reactions, in both the print media and on social media. However, while stating that it takes criticism seriously, it did not apologize for its coverage.