SINGAPORE - Former MediaCorp actress Sharon Au has apologised for her attempt at mimicking an Indian accent during Friday night's SEA Games opening ceremony pre-show at the National Stadium.
Au, who shared hosting duties with actor Chua Enlai and television presenter Nikki Muller, wrote on her personal Facebook page on Saturday morning: "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."
Agence France-Presse (AFP) journalist Bhavan Jaipragas had accused Au of putting on a strong Indian accent to mock a young Indian girl sitting in the stands. He also said Au made fun of the girl's name.
Jaipragas detailed the incident in a Facebook post on Friday evening, in which he called on Au and the organising committee to apologise.
"In an audience interaction segment before the start of the SEA Games opening ceremony at the National Stadium, emcee Sharon Au approached an Indian girl seated in the stands. The girl did not properly perform the act - saying aloud a line welcoming foreign contingents (others before her didn't get it right too). Au, speaking into a mike and with the cameras trained on her, shockingly put on a strong Indian accent, and while shaking her head from right to left asked the girl: "What (Vat) happened? What happened?" he wrote.
Au had taken a step back from the acting and hosting limelight since returning from her overseas studies in 2011 to take up an executive position at MediaCorp.