NZ presenter in hot water over offensive accent

A New Zealand TV presenter has admitted he ‘stuffed up’ after putting on an offensive impersonation of an Asian accent when referring to the Highlanders’ Japan international Kazuki Himeno.

Joe Wheeler, who has played for the Highlanders and for Suntory Sungoliath in the Japanese Top League, made the comments after Friday’s Super Rugby Aotearoa clash.

Wheeler put on the accent when talking about Himeno on Sky Sports NZ, and it quickly sparked fierce backlash on social media. Sky chief executive Sophie Moloney also said the comments were ‘very disappointing’.

‘He was leally impressive, wasn’t he? He was leally, leally good,’ Wheeler said to Highlanders star Mitchell Hunt.

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Craig Lewis