In this world racism has a very long history of rearing its ugly head every now and then. Whether intentional or not, here are 10 of the most racist TV moments in history.
Spelling Bee Contestant Dances around the ‘N word’
In a 2007 Scripps National Spelling Bee contest, Andrew Lay was asked to spell the word “Negus”. Poor Andrew thought he heard something completely different (you know that ‘N word’ that derogatorily classifies a class of colored people in the USA), and was reluctant to spell the word. Negus is actually a title given to Ethiopian royalty. At one point, the judges had to repeatedly ask Andrew to say the word, clearly mistaking it for something else. Whilst not actually racist any side, it still made the list because the entire scenario is hilarious, especially Andrew’s reaction when he realized he slept the word correctly.
Booker T lets the ‘N word’ slip
In a pre-match interview before a tag team championship wrestling match, wrestler Booker T accidentally let out the N-word when asked to comment on the upcoming match with Hulk Hogan. Yes, he called Hulk Hogan, a very white man, the “N word”. He immediately realized his gaffe and covered his head in shame.
Iggi Pop does not understand racism, has large genitals
In a BBC live coverage of the music festival in Glastonbury, UK, Iggi Pop made an unsavory remark about Pakistanis by referring to them as Paki, which is just about as offensive to Pakistanis as calling a black person the ‘N word’.
Australian appeases West Indians with chicken
This has reference to the advertisement run by Kentucky Fried Chicken which depicts a lone white man in a crowd of black people who are dancing and enjoying themselves. He feels out of place and places a big bucket of fried chicken in front of them which they all rush to. He then ends by saying “Too easy”. This has greater significance since Australia was playing the West Indies in a cricket series, and it was KFC who was sponsoring the series.
Alex Trebek’s “Hurts to Miss that One” moment
It was a standard Jeopardy episode, but this one featured a contestant from Indian origin. He got the Daily Double opportunity and wagered all his money on a question to which the answer was “New Delhi”. He blurted out the wrong answer and the host Alex Trebek made the comment “Hurts to miss that one”. This is all the more relevant because he believed that just because the man was brown and of Indian origin, he was supposed to know all about India. Not so Trebek, not so.
Popeye’s out of chicken
This is another case of associating black people with fried chicken. Popeye’s, a known well fast food chain, ran out of chicken during a promotion and this actually became news worthy to be reported on live TV. What added color to the incident, was that all the people who were interviewed were black. This was seen as an insult to the colored people who were projected in very poor light.
Kids Quiz shows contestant had China on their mind
In a kids quiz show in the 1980s, a contestant, when asked the question as to what do we mean when we refer to someone as yellow, blurted out “Chinese”. This gained notoriety because one contestant among them came actually from Chinese origins and he naturally took umbrage.
eMobile slaps a suit on a monkey, becomes Obama
This concerns an advertisement placed by the mobile giant eMobile, who depicted America’s then presidential candidate Barack Obama (current president as of 2015) as a macaque monkey. The company tried to defend their ad by saying that they had previously used similar advertisement tactics to depict other personalities. Their argument did not hold water and the advertisements were removed immediately.
Plane crashes, racial hilarity ensues
While reporting on a plane crash that involved Asiana Flight 214 from South Korea to San Francisco, the National Transportation Safety Board intern had responsibility to confirm the names of the four pilots on board the crashed plane. The intern decided to play a prank and gave the names as Ho Lee Fuk, Sum Ting Wong, Wi Tu Low and Bang Ding Ow. These had nothing to do with the actual names of the pilots, but rather the intern wanted to mock and derogate, and slyly say, “Holy F**k, Something Wrong, Way Too Low and Banged in Oh”. If this is not racism then what is?
Teacher fights racism by repeatedly saying the ‘N word’
This high school teacher got into some serious trouble when he called a black student the ‘N word’. He tried to explain himself in a family news broadcast, repeating the word in a effort to get his point across. However, he only added insult to injury by trying to explain the difference between the words N*gga and N*gger, and he only succeeded in making a mess of himself. He was put on suspension. Clearly.