The Chinese Embassy in Spain has sent a letter of protest to a Spanish television network, after the network aired a comedy sketch which "insulted Chinese" in the words of Huang Yazhong, charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Spain.
"I express strong dissatisfaction and severe criticism over the program which indicated an overt insult to Chinese," said Huang in a letter sent Monday to the president of Telecinco, also known as Tele 5, a Spanish commercial television station.
In the letter, Huang also demanded an apology from the television network.
In Mesa para Dos, a sketch staged on the channel's New Year Gala on New Year's Eve, a comedian, wearing an exaggerated costume loosely reminiscent of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) with a long pigtail hat, played a waiter in a Chinese restaurant, serving Spanish customers, news portal eulam.com reported.
"The 'waiter' jumped up and down like a clown with various kinds of exaggerated performances, with the Spanish 'customer' shouting insults at the Chinese," said Huang.
The Spanish shouted "Este Chino es Gilipolla" twice in the program, meaning "the Chinese is stupid," as the term Gilipolla is commonly used to insult people, eulam.com said.
The "waiter" served duck, but when asked what the meat was, he said that this was duck or cat meat, using mangled Spanish. This scene deliberately indicated that Chinese restaurants serve dog meat and cat meat, Huang said, adding that it aimed to capitalize on a hyped rumor that a group of customers discovered a dog's microchip in their food while eating beef at a Chinese restaurant in Spain, implying it was dog meat.
"I watched the program and was very angry at the overt insult toward us Chinese," Liu Yuebiao, chairman of the Andalusian association of Chinese commerce, a local chamber of commerce in Malaga, Spain, told the Global Times on Wednesday.
Liu said that despite the fact that when the first Chinese business owners arrived in Spain they had poor education and little knowledge of food safety, these were a minority of cases and times have changed. "This channel misled the Spanish people about the image of Chinese restaurants," Liu said, adding that if the demand for a formal apology did not work, then they will consider staging a protest against it.
It is not the first time the TV channel has come under fire from overseas Chinese. More than 500 overseas Chinese staged protests in Madrid in May 2013, following false reports by Aida Nizar, a host of Tele 5, who said in her program that Chinese restaurants had used human corpses to make dishes, which caused severe losses to the local Chinese catering industry, eulam.com reported.