A satirical program on local public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR) is facing harsh criticism after a segment aired featuring a comedian performing in blackface. The criticism comes amid a growing backlash in Germany over repeated instances of blackface and all-white panel discussions on racism in German television shows. What happened in the sketch? In the show “SchleichFernsehen” on Thursday evening, cabaret artist Helmut Schleich mimed a Black despot. The character Maxwell Strauss, head of the fictitious state of Mbongalo, gives Germany advice on how to deal with the pandemic and tells He calls for the opposition to “shut up.” The sketch is a parody of Franz Josef Strauss, a former leader of Bavaria’s conservative Christian Social Union (CSU). Strauss, who died in 1988, was also known for his coarse pronunciation and for telling critics to keep their mouths shut.