MasterChef All-Star Sarah Tiong has called out Triple M following an extremely racist exchange she experienced this morning.
During an interview with Triple M Sunraysia, Sarah revealed that the host greeted her by saying ‘ni hao ma’. (Yes, seriously.)
“I do not believe this went to air,” she elaborated via her Instagram stories. “However, I felt uncomfortable and shocked. The call was ended immediately.”
“This is racism. What an insensitive, tone deaf thing to say. Please, check yourself and do better.”
In response to an Instagram user questioning the intent behind the exchange, Sarah posted a follow-up slide, explaining why the interaction is so inherently ignorant.
“It is racist to assume I identify as Chinese and speak the Chinese language,” she stated. “Even if I have referenced such heritage or knowledge in the past, it is privileged and ignorant to assume anything about me based on the colour of my skin. It is rude and privileged to assume that I understand that Asian language, just because I appear of that decent.”
But wait, it gets worse. Sarah then revealed that the morning radio host proceeded to query whether “it would be lei ho ma?”
“The mere presumption that I speak or want to speak Mandarin or Cantonese with you,” Sarah said, “followed by the flippant dismissal of distinguishing the two different languages is racist. It is dehumanising. And no… ‘My partner is Asian’ is not an excuse for your racism.”
MasterChef judge Melissa Leong has also condemned the interview, reminding Instagram users that this experience, at Sarah’s expense, “is a mere daily occurrence for many POC.”
“It is not funny, or clever. It just illustrates how deep rooted racial toxicity is in this country, and anyone with a voice in media should know better.”
PEDESTRIAN.TV reached out to Triple M to comment, in which they provided the following statement: “Triple M Sunraysia unreservedly apologises for the offence caused by comments made to Sarah Tiong off-air this morning.”Image: MasterChef