German public broadcaster ZDF has been lashed for what critics called “racist” coverage of Britain’s royal wedding Saturday.
Announcers were mesmerized by how African-Americans straighten their hair, repeatedly referred to Meghan Markle and black wedding guests as “exotic,” and said the gospel choir at the wedding sang “beautifully black,” German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported.
HuffPost Germany complained: “The station never tires of emphasizing that Meghan Markle … is black. Black, black, black. Can we please talk about hats again?”
At one point, a ZDF announcer wondered: “Are those dreadlocks on Meghan’s mother?” Another responded, according to DW: “It’s curly hair that’s been somewhat de-curled, same as Meghan probably does all the time.”
The broadcaster was hit with criticism in emails, on Twitter and by phone. ZDF has not apologized for its coverage, but told DW that “we take the criticism of our viewers seriously.” The ZDF spokeswoman also said the network received praise for its coverage.
One tweet about the coverage complained: “Dear @zdf, it is extremely annoying that Meghan’s lineage is THE subject for the reporters. If Meghan were white, what would they snigger about? Please treat them equally.”
Another tweet, translated by DW, sarcastically proposed a very British drinking game: A shot of Pimm’s every time ZDF mentions “African-American background.”