Japanese comedy duo “A Masso” has issued an apology for making racist remarks about two-time tennis Grand Slam champion and world #4 Naomi Osaka.
During a live event the duo said Osaka, who is Japanese, “needed some bleach” and is ‘“too sunburned,” according to Reuters.
Osaka was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and Haitan father. The "sunburned" comment an obvious reference to her Black heritage.
In a statement found on the website of the duo’s management company, Watanabe Entertainment Co Ltd, the women apologized for making “inappropriate, hurtful remarks.”
Ai Murakami of “A Masso” wrote,
“Though we should have thought about it, we made remarks that hurt many people, something we will never do again. We sincerely apologise for making the specific person feel uncomfortable, as well as for everyone else connected to the event. We also sincerely apologize for causing trouble.”
Neither the statement from the group or its management referenced Osaka by name.
Of course that’s the problem with the “apology.”
The Asian culture has a long history of finding dark skin to be undesirable. By referring to Osaka’s skin tone as something less than desirable they took away her humanity. Whether it was meant in jest or not.
When faced with the backlash and the opportunity to get it right, her humanity is again not recognized as they don’t even refer to Osaka by her name, anywhere.
Osaka was in Japan the last few weeks and won the Pan Pacific Open on Sunday (September 22nd) defeating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in straight sets for her first title in her native country.
(Photo: David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images)