Latest Newsletter🍵 Chinese History Month in WARead


PwC diversity executives mocked Chinese accents, dressed as ‘bat from Wuhan’ during company trivia event

PwC racism

    Asian America Daily - in under 5 minutes

    Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories, to your inbox daily, for free!

    Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive

    Two human resource executives at PwC, Australia’s largest consulting firm, are accused of racist behavior at the firm’s trivia event last Thursday, in which one of them was said to have dressed as a “bat from Wuhan” while the other mocked Chinese accents. The company is now undergoing an internal investigation of the matter. 

    The incident: The racist behavior occurred in a skit performed during a virtual trivia event for the national infrastructure division hosted by PwC’s human resources team, according to The Australian Financial Review

    • The team’s responsibilities entail “improving diversity at the firm and being part of the complaints process for staff who feel they have faced racial discrimination or harassment.”
    • A senior manager of diversity and inclusion at the firm was reportedly the one mocking Chinese accents. 
    • One of the questions presented at the event had employees select a company logo out of several listed options that “best represented communism,” with the correct logo being that of Chinese tech giant Huawei. 
    • Instagram account @TheAussieCorporate first revealed the incident on Instagram Stories on Friday.  
    Image via @TheAussieCorporate

    The firm’s response: PwC chief executive Tom Seymour has launched an investigation of the incident — which he described as “racist and offensive” — with the help of legal advisors. 

    • “A number of people shared their disappointment, frustration and anger about this event,” Seymour told The Australian Financial Review. “On behalf of all the team at PwC, I am extremely disappointed that this incident has occurred…I am hugely disappointed we fell short of the standard we hold ourselves to.”
    • He said that “whilst [the skit was] unintentional, they were thoughtless and harmful.”
    • @TheAussieCorporate noted in their follow-up Instagram Stories that many people were calling out Seymour’s use of the word “unintentional,” given the supposed “choreographed” nature of the skit. 
    • On Monday, Seymour emailed the company’s partners about the incident and later apologized to those that were present during the trivia event at a town hall meeting. The incident was further addressed in company-wide communications sent out on Tuesday. 
    • Those who attended the meeting expressed concerns that resolving the issue would be drawn out, but the firm is reportedly expected to come to a conclusion in one week.
    • The news follows reports of the firm’s efforts to improve racial diversity within its higher ranks, as only 17% of its partners are of “non-European cultural backgrounds” while 47% of employees are. 

    Earlier this month, a Chinese man destroyed a sign in Melbourne, Australia that said COVID-19 was “Made in China,” NextShark previously reported.

    Featured Image via Adam Jones on Unsplash

    Support our Journalism with a Contribution

    Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

    Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

    However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

    We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way.  Thank you for everyone's support. We love you all and can't appreciate you guys enough.

    Support NextShark

    Mastercard, Visa, Amex, Discover, Paypal