Astro apologises for Usher-Yuna parody using blackface makeup

Astro’s MeleTOP, a Malaysian TV show, has apologised for a parody video of Yuna and Usher’s song collaboration called “Crush”.  This followed a social media uproar criticising the parody for featuring an actor with “blackface” makeup posing as American singer Usher.

The video saw a woman portraying Yuna bowing in front of the “blackface” comedian, instead of hugging which Yuna copped flak for recently at a concert with Usher. Twitter users have been quick to criticise the entertainment show for giving a bad name to Malaysians, with some even urging the local singer to take action against the programme for the racist content.

A later report by The Star showed that the Malaysian singer Yuna was also upset about the parody video. She addressed her displeasure on Facebook on 4 August 2016, where she called out the entertainment programme and highlighted the potential negative impact it has on her career in the United States. She urged viewers and fans not to share the parody.

MeleTOP has since removed all traces of the parody video and issued four tweets apologising to both Yuna and Usher.

Watch the original music video here:

A+M has reached out to Astro for a statement.

This is not a first time a Malaysian brand has gotten in trouble for using dark makeup to portray another race. In 2014, domestic helper insurance ad from Malaysia’s Hong Leong Bank has come under fire for running a commercial in Hong Kong depicting a local actor as a Filipina maid with a black face.

Meanwhile this year, an advertisement for a laundry detergent brand in China made global headlines for its blatant racism. The ad, for Qiaobi (俏比) laundry detergent, starts with a woman doing her laundry, when a paint-splattered black man appears. After inviting him closer, the woman stuffs a laundry detergent capsule in his mouth and shoves him into the washing machine. To her pleasant surprise, when the load of laundry is done, a young Asian man with a clean shirt climbs out of the machine.