Unless you were under a rock or dealing with one of the many life-changing catastrophes that marred the world in the past week, chances are you saw at least some of the endless Royal Wedding coverage.
And while most of the coverage was positive, a German broadcaster took a different spin on it:
ZDF commentators consistently described Meghan Markle and her guests as “exotic” and were fascinated by her black hair. ♀️ https://t.co/Ejkd3IjpkF
— Kate Brady (@kbrady90) May 20, 2018
Why are we surprised by the racist n crude comments by ZDF’s Norbert Lehmann, Julia Melchior & Diana Zimmermann on #RoyalWedding? Angela Merkel is a good German, n there are many like her. But Max Picard said, ‘Hitler inhabits’ many. Germany gave the world Hitler n Trump. @ZDF
— Dr J. Kally-Williams (@kallywilli) May 21, 2018
ZDF, a German-based public broadcaster, came under fire for what many are considering its “racist” coverage of the British royal wedding. Instead of focusing on the lovely couple and their bright future, ZDF instead zeroed in on bride Meghan Markle’s ethnic background.
The broadcaster described Markle, who is half-black, and the wedding’s black wedding guests as “exotic” and seemed enthralled by how African-American women straighten their hair. As the Huffington Post in Germany explained: “The station never tires of emphasizing that Meghan Markle … is black. Black, black, black.”
— Taking Action 4 US (@takingaction4us) May 21, 2018
German broadcaster ZDF's comments, in regard to the Royal Wedding coverage, are really ignorant and abhorent.
— Kat L B (@RealKath_JL) May 21, 2018
Kate Brady (@kbrady90) broke down some of the more controversial comments said during the broadcast. The list includes, “Meghan always wanted a Barbie doll family. But there were only white and black Barbie families,” and “The choir sang beautifully black.”
— Kate Brady (@kbrady90) May 21, 2018
The broadcast garnered negative backlash via emails, phone, and, of course, Twitter. It’s hard to feel sympathetic to the announcers behind the royal wedding coverage, especially after it spent an unusual amount of time discussing Meghan’s mothers “dreadlocks” and how African-American women de-curl their hair, just “as Meghan probably does all the time.” The wedding was televised all over the globe and revered for its importance to the royal family and the German broadcast diluted made a mockery of it, whether intentional or not.
ZDF offered no apologies for the coverage, instead stating that it takes “the criticism of our viewers seriously” and received praise for its coverage.
— William Manggrum (@wmanggrum) May 21, 2018
— Crawford Richmond (@CrawfordRichmnd) May 21, 2018
From what one can see, “praise” isn’t quite the word we would use. Sydney Chandler (@syds180turn) took to Twitter with a brief but strongly-worded response, stating “Your racist coverage of the royal wedding was beneath contempt. You sicken and disgust me.”
@ZDF Your racist coverage of the royal wedding was beneath contempt. You sicken and disgust me.
— Sydney Chandler (@syds180turn) May 21, 2018
Others described the coverage as being “shameful and detestable,” stating that it reminds them “of Hitler Germany.”
That the broadcast was public and showed no shame alarmed many, like George Townsend (@GeorgeTownsend), who remaked “This happened in 2018, not 1950.”
@ZDF: Your coverage of the royal wedding was shameful and detestable. It reminds me of Hitler Germany.
— adebisi obafemi (@Onisegun19) May 21, 2018
— George Townsend (@GeorgeTownsend_) May 21, 2018
— Yuliya Komska (@ykomska) May 19, 2018
Even if you wouldn’t consider the commentary racist, you have to admit, the fascination with the royal wedding’s African-American guests was unusual, if not a bit concerning.
We all whinge about @abcnews way of looking at the world, but look at some of the comments Germany's big public broadcaster @ZDF had to say about that royal wedding …. https://t.co/1NAr1RHBG7 pic.twitter.com/AoTKRNYTOv
— Will Willitts (@WillWillAFR) May 21, 2018
Tell me again how the GEZ is worth preserving?
Every single week, we see public funded broadcasters invite racists and polemecists to spew bile against minorities.https://t.co/SIhA39zLpb Royal wedding: German broadcaster ZDF accused of racism in its coverage
— Spits 2.0 (@antifatwa) May 20, 2018
H/T: Huffington Post, Twitter