Telemundo issued an apology and suspended two of its hosts after they were caught on camera making racist gestures during the celebration of Mexico’s qualification to the World Cup’s round of 16.
“Chef James” Tahhan, co-host of Telemundo’s morning show Un Nuevo Día, used the “slant eye” gesture while the rest of the hosts commented on and celebrated South Korea’s win over Germany, which gave Mexico the ticket to the next round. Meteorologist Janice Bencosme was next to Tahhan and laughed at his gesture and joined him.
Dear @Telemundo @TelemundoSports & @TLMDPR , whoever this guy is on the left needs to get fired ASAP for being a racist on air. If someone were to say or make racist gestures about Latinx folks we'd ALL be up in arms & this is no different #SayNoToRacism #TelemundoMundial pic.twitter.com/SvzSednPAd
— Miguel Hernandez (@Techivist) June 27, 2018
— Carlos Robles (@core787) June 27, 2018
— #DREAMActNOW! (@3v3lynJane) June 28, 2018
Telemundo said in a note published on its social media accounts that it has suspended the two hosts indefinitely. “Our company takes this type of inappropriate behavior very seriously, as it is contrary to our values and standards,” they wrote.
— NBCU Telemundo Public Relations (@TLMDPR) June 28, 2018
Tahhan, a Venezuelan chef and restauranteur, issued an apology on Instagram:
FIFA and all the World Cup affiliated brands have said that won’t tolerate discrimination in any form. FIFA fined the Mexican Federation $10,000 after its fans used a homophobic chant in the game between their nation and Germany.
Last year, FIFA banned Colombian midfielder Edwin Cardona for five games after he made the “slant eye” gesture towards South Korean players during a friendly game between the two countries. The incident greatly reduced Cardona’s chances to make the team for the World Cup and he was ultimately left out.
Diego Maradona was also seen during the Argentina vs Iceland game using the same gesture against a group of Asian fans. There’s no video of the incident and Maradona hasn’t been disciplined.