“I am the furthest thing from the racist”

The Italian TV host apologizes for his Asian-mimicking gestures (Photo credit: AP Photo / Luca Bruno)

Italian-Swiss TV host Michelle Hunziker apologized on Wednesday for impersonating Asians on a satirical TV show after her actions sparked protests on social media.

“I’m really sorry and I apologize if I hurt someone,” Michelle Hunziker said in English in a video posted to Instagram. “I realize that we are in a time when people are sensitive to their rights, and I have been so naive to ignore it.”

She added: “I am the furthest thing from the racist.”

According to AP, Michelle Hunziker and co-host Gerry Scotti made bowed gestures and mimicked an Asian accent on the TV show “Striscia la Notizia” (“The News Crawls”) broadcast by the private Italian network Mediaset.

In his Instagram post, Hunziker acknowledged the US-based content producers behind fashion watchdog Diet Prada, who, along with bloggers living in Italy, called the gestures racist.

Michelle Hunziker is married to Tomaso Trussardi, president of the fashion house Trussardi.

Last week, a Black Lives Matters protest took place outside the Rome studios of Italian state television RAI over racist language on air and the use of blackface in a broadcast. Another round of protests targeted Michelle Hunziker and Scotti for laughing at a skit on their show that used racist language to describe African children.

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