‘Absolutely Fabulous’ film accused of racism for casting Krankies star in Asian role

Scottish comedian Janette Tough is best known as Wee Jimmy Krankie

The upcoming Absolutely Fabulous movie has caused controversy by casting a non-Asian actress in the role of a Japanese fashion designer.

Scottish comedian Janette Tough, best known for playing the role of Wee Jimmy Krankie, will play a male Japanese designer called Huki Muki, a role thought to be inspired by writer and artist Yayoi Kusama.

Following the news of Tough’s casting, Korean-American comedian Margaret Cho has accused the film’s makers of “yellowface”.

“I love AbFab but #YELLOWFACE is something I cannot watch – I just can’t. It’s sad when heroes are no longer heroic. Too bad. #racism,” Cho recently tweeted.

She continued: “It’s hard enough to get into film and TV as a person of colour – and when roles written for us are played by white actors – it’s an outrage.”

Neither the Absolutely Fabulous team nor BBC Films has commented on the matter yet.

Created and written by Jennifer Saunders, Absolutely Fabulous debuted on BBC One in 1992 and has followed the lives of PR guru Edina Monsoon and magazine editor Patsy Stone for 39 episodes. The show last returned for a series of three specials airing on Christmas Day 2011, New Year’s Day 2012 and July 23, 2012 to coincide with the London Olympics.

Saunders recently confirmed that filming would begin in the autumn. No release date has yet been confirmed.