An Australian TV commentator caused controversy at the Winter Olympics on Thursday with a remark about Chinese athletes all looking “the same.”
“Real nicely done, great control, very Chinese. They all look the same, they’re very hard to tell who’s who.’”
People on Twitter quickly pounced:
Some people accused Cooper of “casual racism.”
Far out, Jacqui Cooper actually just said this when commentating the womens aerials:
“The Chinese, they all look the same, it’s very difficult to tell who is who”#PyeongChang2018
— reroy (@okreroy) February 15, 2018
— Gem ☺️??♀️ (@gemmapamela98) February 15, 2018
Cooper later insisted her remark had been misinterpreted, and said she was only talking about Chinese athletes’ similar technical styles:
Just finished the Aerials, I’ve noticed a whole bunch of comments about my remarks re the Chinese. I need to make it clear I was talking about the jump. The Chinese are trained by one coach with one technique, their aim is all to jump the same.
Bring on the final tomorrow night.
— Jacqui Cooper (@JacquiCooperSKI) February 15, 2018
“I need to make it clear I was talking about the jump,” Cooper tweeted. “The Chinese are trained by one coach with one technique, their aim is all to jump the same.”
Channel 7 also issued a statement defending Cooper’s remark. “At no time was the commentary racist, intended to be racist or offensive,” the network said.