Franchesca Wong speaks out for the first time after her casting in the role of Louisa in Barrack O’Karma 1968 sparked a “brownface” controversy. Her portrayal of a Filipino domestic worker raised accusations of racism and was also heavily criticised for the irresponsible depiction of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. To make matters worse, a video posted by Franchesca’s colleague Lam King Ching showing her darkening her skin with makeup didn’t exactly help things. Because of the now deleted video, the actress was called out for using brownface. Migrant groups have also questioned the casting of a non-Filipino to play the role.
In response to the controversy, Barrack O’Karma 1968 producer TVB immediately pulled the plug on the episode. They also issued an apology. They affirm that they had no intention of disrespecting or discriminating against any nationality, and that they are sorry to those negatively affected.
In her apology, the Candian-born Hong Kong actress said that after taking time to reflect on the incident, she is sorry that her insensitivities have offended and hurt others. She also says that she genuinely meant no disrespect and had no intention of racially discriminating against any ethnic group. “Please forgive me for getting it wrong. It has been a challenging experience to be at the centre of a lesson that art reflects deeply entrenched social attitudes.”
Meanwhile, Lam King Ching also shared an apology. He sfaid he didn’t really think things through when he posted that clip and means no disrespect. He also promised to be more discerning when sharing things and posting videos in the future.