Comedy Show Raises Objections From Immigrant Rights Workers

13.11.2012
Words by Paul Fontaine
An Icelandic comedy routine recently shown on Stöð 2 has been called racist by people working with immigrant and multicultural issues in Iceland.

The routine features actor Pétur Jóhann Sigfússon (shown above) playing an Asian talk show host. In the routine, he wears make up which includes pulling the sides of his eyes back to create a squint, and he speaks English with a heavily affected generalised "Asian" accent.

For many, the video clip has sparked both shock and bewilderment. Among those raising objections are people who work closely with the immigrant community in Iceland.

Barbara Kristvinsson, a counselor for the city of Reykjavík in the field of information, advice and civics training for immigrants, posted the video to Facebook, calling it "harmful and insulting". Others commenting in the thread, who have worked with immigrant and multicultural issue in Iceland, also expressed sadness and outrage over the routine.

Barbara has also brought up the idea of lodging a formal complaint to the Media Commission over the sketch.

It should be noted that apart from being possibly racist, the routine also appears to be uncannily close to a certain scene from the movie Lost In Translation.

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