As Black Lives Matter protests continue to swell across the globe, Japan has found itself under intense fire for an insensitive video one of its biggest TV networks posted about the movement. Not long ago, the station NHK drew the ire of locals and fans worldwide when it shared an anime-esque clip explaining the protests. However, the racially insensitive clip has only upset audiences with its caricatures and incorrect information.
The video, which has since been taken down by NHK, stars an overly muscular black man in a white tank top yelling as he holds a woman's suffering purse. The man angrily screams about the Black Lives Matter protests and says they began due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic was blamed for creating financial hardships for black people more so than white people, and that caused a surge in violent protests.
Unfortunately, the video doesn't mention the death of George Floyd. The man's murder at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer is what sparked the protests, and the movement has since evolved to address issues of police brutality and colorism across the globe.
How could you be the voice actor of such a beloved character like Jinbe and condone + lend your voice to such a racist video like this by the NHK. I’m sorry but I’m disappointed in Katsuhisa Hōki. He needs to address this. pic.twitter.com/EwkkTDvGJX— YonkouProductions (@YonkouProd) June 9, 2020
The controversial video continued to dole out insensitive imagery as it depicted caricatures of black men and women. Not only were the figures implied to be violent, but they were shown looting and dancing. An older black man was even shown strumming a guitar atop a fire hydrant which left fans plenty confused. As for the voice actor behind this video, it is none other than Katsuhisa Hoki. The actor is a well-known talent in Japan and has voiced a number of major anime roles such as Jinbe in One Piece.
Now, NHK and Hisa are under fire as fans demand a better apology over the video. Even the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo publicly critiqued the clip over its thoughtless depiction of Black Lives Matter. At this time, Hisa has not addressed his role in the condemned clip, but fans of One Piece are hoping the actor will rise to the occasion shortly.
What do you make of this controversial video? Let me know in the comments or over on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.
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