A Japanese TV show has been slammed as 'racist' and 'culturally insensitive' after one of its comedians performed a blackface skit.
During the skit, comedian Masatoshi Hamada painted his skin black in an attempt to portray US actor Eddie Murphy's character from the 1984 film Beverly Hills Cop.
The program was panned in the week following its New Year's Eve airing, with many people taking to social media to voice their disgust for the skit, which is widely considered a deeply offensive insult due to its historical significance.
Baye McNeil, a black US columnist who lived in Japan for 13 years, turned to Twitter to blast the skit.
Mr McNeil said he feared a nightmare scenario for his beloved Japan where they decide to use blackface in the 2020 Olympics Opening Ceremony to portray black athletes.
His tweets sparked a social media frenzy with the majority of users outraged that blackface can still be portrayed on television anywhere in the world.
Some social media users argued whether the Japanese audience were aware of how offensive performing blackface was after the history of minstrel shows.
Other Twitter users defended the comedian claiming he was paying homage to the actor and there was no racist intent.
Many put the skit down to ignorance, but still reiterated blackface was not acceptable.