Axed MasterChef contestant at centre of racism scandal
OUTGOING MasterChef contestant Sarah Tiong has blasted a radio host for being racist.
Tiong, 29, was doing the rounds of media after her shock elimination from the top rating cooking show on Tuesday night when the incident occurred with Triple M Sunraysia breakfast host Matman.
"Today, in an Australian radio interview with Triple M Sunraysia, the host greeted me by saying, 'ni hao ma'," Tiong wrote in a post on Instagram.
"I do not believe this went to air. However, I felt uncomfortable and shocked. The call was immediately ended. This is racism. What an insensitive, tone deaf thing to say. Please, check yourself and do better."
Tiong, whose mother is of Malaysian descent, was born and raised in Sydney.
Asian fusion cooking has been a signature for her throughout the MasterChef competition.
Matman, whose real name is Matt Jonsen, apologised for his comments.
"Triple M Sunraysia unreservedly apologises for the offence caused by comments made to Sarah Tiong off-air this morning," a spokeswoman for the station said.
Questioned by one of her more than 90,000 followers on whether or not the radio host was racist or "trying to be cultural or respectful", she doubled down on her stance.
"It is racist to assume I identify as Chinese and speak the Chinese language," she responded.
"Even if I have referenced such heritage or knowledge in the past, it is privileged and ignorant to assume anything about me based on the colour or my skin. It is rude and privileged to assume that I understand that Asian language, just because I appear of that descent. Let me add that this comment by this host was followed up with 'Oh wait would it be lei ho man? Anyway?" The mere presumption that I speak or want to speak mandarin or Cantonese with you followed by the flippant dismissal of distinguishing the two different languages is racist. It is dehumanising. And no … "my partner is Asian" is not an excuse for racism."
Originally published as Axed MasterChef contestant at centre of racism scandal