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Last Updated: Friday, 18 July, 2003, 06:37 GMT 07:37 UK
Banzai sparks US protests
Banzai was first shown on E4
An Asian-American group has protested over the Channel 4 comedy programme Banzai, following its first showing in the United States on Sunday.

The lobby group, Media Action Network for Asian-Americans, said the programme, which parodies Japanese game shows, demeans and stereotypes Asian people.

About 20 members of the group carried signs and shouted slogans outside a presentation by the Fox network to TV critics in Hollywood.

"It's just all the backward images of Asian-American people," Guy Aoki, co-founder of the group, said.

'Asian minstrel'

Banzai is a spoof betting show in which audiences are invited to guess the outcome of a series of stunts.

"This is like an Asian minstrel show," Mr Aoki said. "Can you imagine the black version of Banzai?"

Ealier this month Fox pulled a season of classic Charlie Chan mystery movies has following complaints that the films were racially "insensitive".

The 23 restored films were showing on the Fox Movie Channel on cable TV.

But a notice on the channel website said they were stopped after the potentially "sensitive" nature of the films was pointed out by viewers.

Fox has defended Banzai saying they had received comments praising the programme.


"We've received an entire range of comments on the show, both pro and con," Fox spokesman Scott Grogin said.

"It's a satire, a parody of Japanese game shows. It's very tongue-in-cheek and should not be viewed as anything but."

Mr Aoki said his group had held two meetings with the network about Banzai, asking that it not be broadcast.

He said that Fox had indicated that if Banzai were to come back for a second series, they could add a disclaimer at the beginning of the show.

But Mr Aoki said a disclaimer was not enough to assuage his group's concerns.

He said they wanted the show to be cancelled and for Fox to apologize for showing it in the first place.

Baftas for Banzai and Blue Planet
13 May 02  |  Entertainment
Fox pulls 'insensitive' Chan films
01 Jul 03  |  Entertainment

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