UPDATE: Toggle has since issued an apology. Sort of.
Ah Toggle, you never cease to surprise us with the ways you go wrong. After that disastrous outing with Saffron Sharpe and her salty, unprovoked comments on the way people dress themselves, Toggle’s latest gaffe involves the blatant usage of racist stereotypes.
We have to remind you that it’s 2016 in a country that hammers the idea that we live in a culturally diverse and racially tolerant society. And it is in this environment that things like blackface are considered hilarious and worthy of entertainment on Mediacorp’s online streaming service.
sg: “regardless of race”
also sg: pic.twitter.com/5nKuPbIK2X
— mr frowny (@seitanclaws) October 25, 2016
In one particular episode of Toggle’s original series I Want To Be A Star, the producers thought it’d be funny if the plot involved a casting director in need of a black actor. Since there isn’t one around, the solution is to have the main character’s son dab black paint on his face, then don an afro wig and a letterman jacket.
Hilarity does not ensue.
The justified outpouring of rage and wrath has prompted Toggle to take down that particular episode (Episode 6), but the rest continue to be available for streaming. The question is — how did the episode even get approved? Did the actors and writers feel no guilt in portraying dehumanising characterisations of black people? Were they not aware of the historical significance of blackface and just how blatantly offensive they were?
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!