Absolutely Fabulous film in race row over ‘Yellowface’

Margaret Cho: Racism accusation.
Margaret Cho: Racism accusation.
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The forthcoming Absolutely Fabulous film has become embroiled in a racism row after employing a white actress to play an Asian ­character.

Korean American comedian Margaret Cho hit out at the makers of the film over the casting of Janette Tough, famous for playing Wee Jimmy Krankie in the 1980s, for a cameo as a character called Huki Muki.

The stand-up comic said she was “upset” by the decision, accusing producers of “yellowface” – making up white performers to appear Asian.

In a series of messages on Twitter, Cho, 47, said: “I’ll name the production using yellowface – I’m upset because I love them. It’s AbFab – I really was looking forward to it too. That’s sad. Yellowface is racism. Sorry. It’s unacceptable. Not now. I was thrilled about ab fab movie but now I just can’t be. I’m very disappointed.

“I love AbFab but yellowface is something I cannot watch - I just can’t. It’s sad when heroes are no longer heroic. Too bad. racism. It’s hard enough to get into film and TV as a person of colour – and when roles written for us are played by white actors – it’s an outrage.”

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley will reprise their roles as Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone in the big-screen adaptation of the BBC series, which is due to be released next year.