Two morning show hosts on Telemundo’s Un Nuevo Dia have been dealt indefinite suspensions after making a racist gesture in reaction to South Korea’s unlikely win against Germany at the 2017 Russia World Cup, earlier this week.
South Korea’s incredible win at the World Cup meant Mexico would proceed to the knockout rounds.
James Tahhan and Janice Bencosme were seen using their fingers to slant their eyes on-air, mocking the South-Korean’s eye-shape, an act which enraged their viewers and the wider public when pictures and videos of the footage were uploaded to social media.
One Twitter user wrote: “In a world that desperately demands respect for our Latinos, these pretentious clowns from @Telemundo are misrepresenting an entire community with this racist remark. We can do better! What a shame.
In a world that desperately demand respect for our Latinos, this pretentious clowns from @Telemundo are misrepresenting and entire community with this racist remark. We can do better! What a shame. pic.twitter.com/l7o7DAmtQt— LinaGonzalezGranados (@Linitaconductor) June 27, 2018
Dear @Telemundo @TelemundoSports & @TLMDPR , whoever this guy is on the left needs to get fired ASAP for being a racist on air. If someone were to say or make racist gestures about Latinx folks we'd ALL be up in arms & this is no different #SayNoToRacism #TelemundoMundial pic.twitter.com/SvzSednPAd— Miguel Hernandez (@Techivist) June 27, 2018
In response, the Spanish and American network released a statement earlier today sharing their disappointment with the morning show hosts.
The statement reads:
“Our company takes this type of inappropriate behaviour very seriously as it is contrary to our values and standards.
As a result, both James Tahhan and Janice Bencosme have been placed on an indefinite suspension.”
You can read the full statement, below:
Tahhan and Bencosme have also both apologised in Spanish and English via their respective social medias.
Tahhan, who’s also a popular TV chef, wrote “I made a mistake and made an inappropriate and insensitive gesture towards the Asian community. It was a lack of sensitivity on my part. I admit that I did something wrong and wanted to apologise to anyone who was offended by it.
Bencosme tweeted “My gesture, besides being inappropriate, was offensive to the Asian community. I was wrong and I want to offer my sincere apologies.”
Despite this blip, a majority of Team Mexico fans have celebrated the South Koreans with many taking to the streets chanting “Mexico loves South Korea” following their World Cup win. On Twitter, Mexico fans have even tweeted themselves listening to K-Pop which is just absolutely glorious.