Presenter Darius Rochebin apologized to the channel on Saturday evening, after a sequence that sparked controversy. A columnist on his show had imitated a Chinese, in a gesture deemed degrading towards the Asian community by SOS Racisme.
Saturday evening the star presenter of LCI, Darius Rochebin, appeared on the screen with a serious face at the start of 8 p.m. on the continuous news channel of the TF1 group. After a start of controversy on social networks following a sequence, which occurred during a program he hosted a few days earlier, on August 16, he presented on behalf of the entire channel the apologies of his editorial staff. : “be convinced that the editorial staff is more scrupulous than ever in combating stereotypes, discrimination and prejudice in its daily work“, did he declare.
In question, a highly criticized intervention on social networks, during which the columnist Sergei Jirnov imitated an imaginary Chinese character by stretching his eyes with his fingers and pronouncing, with a caricatural accent, “nĭ hăo“-“hello“, in Chinese. The other speakers of the show and the presenter were also pinned by Internet users, for not having reacted or condemned this sequence deemed racist. A few days later the AJCF, Association of young Chinese in France, denounced a scene “unacceptable and inadmissible“. The association received the support and relay of SOS Racisme, which announced that it had seized Arcom.
Sergei Jirnov, meanwhile, only grudgingly apologized on Twitter, writing:It seems that my little imitation of Michel Leeb’s sketch has offended some sensitivities at the AJCF, which demands an apology and the withdrawal of the video. Apologies, I offer them. For the video, they will have to stop relaying it themselves. Nobody noticed it before!“He especially pleaded to have actually imitated a sketch by Michel Leeb, comedian and French actor, who had himself sketched the same gesture during one of his sketches.