Japanese Network Apologizes for 'Offensive and Insensitive' Video About US Racial Issues

A Japanese network is apologizing after pushing out insensitive content following the death of George Floyd. Following Floyd's death, riots and protests broke out across the United States, as well as other countries, against police brutality. As a response, the network NHK created and shared a video the network put together that several did not take kindly to.

According to CBS News, the animated clip did not address George Floyd, a black man who died while in police custody; instead, it featured a black man wearing a white tank top who raised his fist on the street with fires burning around him. In the video that was less than 90 seconds, other black men and women were also in the same scene as they stood nearby. He cited the wealth disparity between both blacks and whites in the U.S., and the coronavirus is at fault for the protests.

The clip first aired Sunday evening and drew lots of criticism. One Twitter user who is an African-American writer based in Japan wrote, "Is this how they see us? These gross caricatures? Are our issues, so simple, poor black people, rich white people, corona makes us poorer; we're so angry, let's protest! can they really be this clueless, this obtuse?" Interim U.S. ambassador to Japan, Joseph Young, also stepped in to speak his mind, writing, "While we understand NHK's intent to address complex racial issues in the United States, it's unfortunate that more thought and care didn't go into this video. The caricatures used are offensive and insensitive."

Floyd died while in Minneapolis police custody, and after a video of the incident surfaced, outrage sparked across the nation. Initially, a police statement noted that Floyd "physically resisted officers"; however, the public would learn otherwise. As a result, officer Derek Chauvin — the man who sat on Floyd's neck for eight minutes — was fired. The public demanded that the other officers who were standing around be fired as well. As a response, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey tweeted that all four officers who were involved that day have all been fired. However, the attorney for Officer Thomas Lane is stating that his body cam footage would tell everyone a much different story.

During an interview with CNN host Chris Cuomo, attorney Earl Gray says his client was actually trying to help Floyd after he got into the ambulance with him. "He went into the ambulance, and he's the one that was doing CPR. He's a man of compassion, he's not a violent person," Gray said, adding that Lane's body camera footage tells the real story.