RT / Australian skiing commentator Jacqui Cooper has been widely criticized on social media for comments she made during Channel 7’s coverage of the women’s aerials at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Thursday. Commentating on a jump by Chinese aerial skier Yan Ting, former skiing champion Cooper said: “Very Chinese. They all look the same. They’re very hard to tell who’s who.”
The comment sparked outrage among many Twitter users, suggesting that Cooper’s words were an example of casual racism.
@Channel7 @7olympics nice casual racism by Jacqui Cooper “that was so Chinese, actually they all look the same it’s hard to tell them apart” get her off !!
— Gem ☺️🧜🏼♀️ (@gemmapamela98) February 15, 2018 Yep the Chinese 'all look the same'. As do all Asians right?!? 🤔 @7olympics #WinterOlympics #aerial #commentary #PyeongChang2018
— Samurai Galaxy (@samuraigalaxy) February 15, 2018
Jacqui Cooper with the casual racism whilst commentating on #7Olympics 'they all look the same' in regards to Chinese #aerials athletes #PyeongChang2018
— Chris Henderson (@chrishendersonv) February 15, 2018 “Just finished the Aerials, I’ve noticed a whole bunch of comments about my remarks re the Chinese,” Cooper wrote on Twitter following the scandal.
Just finished the Aerials, I’ve noticed a whole bunch of comments about my remarks re the Chinese. I need to make it clear I was talking about the jump. The Chinese are trained by one coach with one technique, their aim is all to jump the same.
Bring on the final tomorrow night.
— Jacqui Cooper (@JacquiCooperSKI) February 15, 2018 “I need to make it clear I was talking about the jump. The Chinese are trained by one coach with one technique, their aim is all to jump the same. Bring on the final tomorrow night.”
Channel 7, which is described as “Australia’s official home of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games” in its Twitter bio, also issued a clarification letter.
“During tonight’s commentary of the Women’s Aerials, commentator Jacqui Cooper, a former Olympian and World Champion, noted that an aerial manoeuvre was in a technical and style sense, very Chinese,” read the statement.
— 7Olympics (@7olympics) February 15, 2018 “Meaning that the whole of the Chinese aerial team are trained in the same way – and the manoeuvre referenced was a classic, technically perfect, trademark of that team’s style. At no time was the commentary racist, intended to be racist or offensive.”