The wedding of Meghan Markle to Prince Harry was nothing like the ones the British royal family had put on before.
The multicultural flourishes – a soaring address by a black American bishop, gospel music soulfully sung by a choir, a rapturous performance by a black cellist – seemed to both surprise and excite the masses.
German public broadcaster ZDF may have been a little too excited. It’s taking a beating for its broadcast, with some critics saying the coverage had racist tinges.
ZDF, which had a team on the ground and broadcast the entire event, had a number of questionable quotes fall from the lips of its commentators and anchors, including many referring to Markle and black guests as being “exotic,” as well as some fairly odd comments about black hair.
“The two (Harry and Meghan) will probably never become King and Queen, so we can afford an exotic couple like that.”
And another: “I get a sense that the Queen is closing one eye when it comes to Meghan.”
Someone on the broadcast tried to compliment the Kingdom Choir, the gospel choir that sang a rendition of Ben E. King’s “Stand By Me” during the wedding, by saying it “sang beautifully black.”
One person on the broadcast asked “Are those dreadlocks on Meghan’s mother?” Someone else answered with “It’s curly hair that’s been somewhat de-curled, same as Meghan probably does all the time.”
Reached by CNN, ZDF said: “The ZDF viewer-service got calls and mails from the viewers with questions as well as praise and criticism for different aspects of our coverage. We take seriously the criticism of our viewers.”