Taiwanese streamer posts blackface how-to video on TikTok

Taiwanese vlogger posts video of herself applying blackface makeup on Chinese app TikTok

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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- In what appears to be a crude attempt at humor, a Taiwanese online streamer posted a video of herself on Sunday (March 24) applying makeup to her face to resemble the skin tone and facial features of a person of African heritage.

On Sunday, a female online streamer first posted a video of herself applying makeup to appear to look like a man of African heritage on the Chinese app TikTok under the handle 初九. She then uploaded the clip under the Facebook name You Shan to the Taiwanese Facebook group Baofei Commune (爆笑公社).

In the video 16-second video, which is made in the format of a how-to makeup video, hip-hop music can be heard blaring as the woman daubs brown makeup on her face. After she has completely smeared brown makeup over her entire face, she uses an eyebrow pencil to darken her eyebrows, nostrils, lower eyelids, and cheeks, and adds the effect of faint facial hair on her upper lip.


(Screenshots from Baofei Commune)

She then applies pink lipstick to her lower lip and dawns a black baseball cap turned backward. She then pats her head with her palm and the video cuts to an image of a man of African heritage mimicking the "Confused Nick Young" meme.

Comments by Taiwanese netizens below the video indicate that they found it humorous:

"The black man question meme."

"Super cute."

"Try it, you'll look like Duli." Duli is an African American TV personality in Taiwan.

"I'm laughing to death."


(Screenshots from Baofei Commune)

However, given the history of blackface in the West, and the recent incident involving a high school yearbook photo of Virginia Governor Ralph Northam in blackface, the Western community in Taiwan may not find it as humorous.

After a Taiwanese YouTuber Louis Li (李育群) posted a blackface video last year, Gabriel Carranza, an African American vlogger who goes by the handle Blaxican, created his own response video which he posted on YouTube and Facebook with both English and Chinese subtitles. In the video, Carranza points out that blackface has been used to dehumanize, suppress and stigmatize African Americans and says that "it's impossible to separate blackface from my people and its history."

Carranza then explained that in the past, African Americans in Hollywood films were highly limited to only play roles of servitude such as maids, butlers, or slaves. He compared Li's blackface appearance on YouTube to the Hollywood use of blackface, in which white actors played African Americans in highly stereotyped, exaggerated roles, such as a "rapist, a bugler or a thief. An overall buffoon, just a stupid ignorant person."


(Screenshots from Baofei Commune)

Carranza then pointed out how American media and movies are rife with such depictions from Disney and Bugs Bunny cartoons to present-day films such as "Tropic Thunder," in which actor Robert Downey Jr. gave a controversial blackface performance. During the video, Carranza twice stated in English and Chinese with accompanying text all caps: "BLACK PEOPLE ARE NOT COSTUMES!"

Carranza then admonishes anyone considering to dress as a racial stereotype, including of black people, for Halloween or for fun, not to do so.

The Taiwanese streamer behind the latest blackface video on TikTok has yet to respond to Taiwan News for comment.


Meme that she was imitating. (Weibo image)