A Swiss-Italian television host drew social media ire for mimicking Asians on a satirical TV program. After her actions drew protests on social media, Michelle Hunziker apologized publically on Wednesday by sharing a video on Instagram. Hunziker and co-host Gerry Scotti made slanted-eye gestures and mimicked an Asian accent on the TV show “Striscia la Notizia” (“The News Crawls”) aired by the private Italian network Mediaset.
Captioning the video, she wrote, "My apologies. As always in my career i carefully listen to you and i learn from your feedback everyday. I am deeply sorry for what happend and for the people i offended, it wasn’t my intention. I am committed to positive change and i have always been against any kind of discrimination. Thank you for holding me accountable."
In the video, Hunziker can be heard saying, “I am truly sorry and I apologize if I hurt anybody. I realize we are in a time when people are sensitive about their rights, and I have been so naïve not to take that into consideration.” She added: “I am the furthest thing from racist.”
In her Instagram post, Hunziker also acknowledged the US based content producers behind the fashion watchdog account Diet Prada, who along with bloggers living in Italy had called out the gestures as racist.
Hunziker is married to Tomaso Trussardi, chairman of Trussardi fashion house.
Last week, a Black Lives Matters protest was held outside the Rome studios of Italy's RAI state television over on-air racist language and the use of blackface on one show.
Another round of protests targeted Hunziker and Scotti for laughing at a skit on their show that used racist language to describe African children.
--with PTI inputs