Naomi Osaka pokes fun at Japanese comedians’ ‘bleach’ comments

The tennis star was “too sunburned,” the comedians had said in a live performance last week.

Naomi Osaka is a household name in Japan, where her every move is followed feverishly by local media.   -  AP

Naomi Osaka poked fun on Sunday at a Japanese comedy duo’s reported comments that the Japanese and Haitian tennis star needed to pick up some “bleach.”

The relatively unknown female comedy pairing “A Masso” reportedly suggested last week Osaka needed “bleach,” and said the 21-year-old former World No. 1 was “too sunburned” during a live performance. They apologised after the skit referring to Osaka made news.

“’Too sunburned’ lol that’s wild,” Osaka wrote on Twitter. “I never get sunburned” by using a sunscreen, she added — naming a local brand.

Osaka is a household name in Japan, where her every move is followed feverishly by local media, particularly when she is in the country of her mother’s birth. She is the face of several leading Japanese brands, including the carrier ANA, and “Naomi-chan” — as she is affectionately known — was the main attraction at this month’s Pan Pacific Open in Osaka, which she won.

 

But she has faced controversies over her dual heritage in a nation that has been traditionally racially homogeneous, as well as scrutiny for her imperfect Japanese speaking skills — though others insist it adds to her charm.

In January, her sponsor Nissin Foods, known for its pot noodles, was accused of “whitewashing” for an animated “anime” style advert that depicted Osaka with pale skin. Nissin Foods said Osaka had approved the advert but pulled it after a media firestorm.