Comedian Miguel Moreno acted as a dimwit backface fool who flirted with a beauty queen on the local FOX Sports show.
Peruvians have criticized a blackface skit directed at Afro-Peruvian soccer star Jefferson Farfan, which aired on the local FOX Sports channel Thursday. Members of the public say the images perpetuate racism and have called for legal action to be taken against those responsible.
Enacted by comedian Miguel Moreno, the blackface imitation, which included oversized lips, depicted a dimwit fool who flirted with a local beauty queen on the show, according to Reuters. An all-White panel of sports commentators rallied in favor of the blackface character.
Public outcry forced FOX Sports to issue an apology via email. "FOX Sports Radio wants to publicly offer its most sincere apologies for the discomfort caused by the parody. At no point was there the slightest intention of offending anyone. We regret the incident."
Government officials also characterized the skit as "reprehensible," affirming that it reinforces negative and racist stereotypes.
The Culture Ministry released a statement saying: "Any act of discrimination based on racial motives is prohibited by Peru's constitution and is sanctioned by various laws, including through the deprivation of liberty." The ministry promised to address the issue, to guarantee that it's not repeated.
Despite repeated objections by the ministry, racist parodies of people of African descent are still common in Peru, as well as other Latin American countries.
Farfan brought an unsuccessful lawsuit against Frito-Lay in 2013 for releasing a commercial featuring a similar blackface imitation. Last year, the 33-year-old footballer scored an important goal in a playoff match against New Zealand, which qualified Peru to participate in the World Cup for the first time in 36 years.