SEA Games emcee Sharon Au apologises for insensitive comment

(L-R) Emcees of Opening Ceremony Nikki Muller, Chua Enlai, Sharon Au. Photo: SINGSOC/Action Images via Reuters

[UPDATE 6 June 2015, 9.30am: Sharon Au apologises for the incident.]

Emcee Sharon Au ruffled some feathers during the glittering SEA Games opening ceremony on Friday night during the ceremony's pre-show segment when she mimicked an Indian accent while talking to a young Indian girl.

Au took to Facebook Saturday morning to apologise in a Facebook post. "Some of you may have watched the pre-show and heard my attempt at mimicking an Indian accent," she wrote. "It was intended to be comic but in hindsight I realise how insensitive it was. I sincerely apologise to those whom I’ve inadvertently offended."

Journalist Bhavan Jaipragas, who was covering the event, posted about the incident on his Facebook page on Friday.

A Facebook post about Sharon Au's inappropriate comment. 
A Facebook post about Sharon Au's inappropriate comment. 

Au and her fellow emcees, Chua Enlai and Nikki Muller, were trying to encourage audience members to say the phrase “Hello [name of country], welcome to Singapore” to welcome the overseas delegates as they marched into the stadium.

The exchange happened at about 7.45pm, before the ceremony was broadcast at 8pm.

The 28th SEA Games Opening Ceremony was attended by 50,000 spectators, as well as government ministers and foreign dignitaries.