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A Romanian TV show host has been accused of 'extreme racism' after saying Serena Williams looks like one of 'those monkeys at the zoo' live on air

Business Insider logo Business Insider 9/19/2019 Barnaby Lane
Serena Williams et al. looking at the camera © Getty/YouTube/B1TV

A Romanian TV show host said Serena Williams looks like "those monkeys at the zoo" while live on air.

Radu Bancui, 49, made the comment while hosting the late evening show on B1 TV.

"Serena Williams looks exactly like one of those monkeys at the zoo with the red asses," Bancui said, according to a translated press release from the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD) in Bucharest.

"If monkeys wore trousers, they'd look exactly like Serena Williams does on the court."

Bancui has been fined $1,875 for the comments, however it does not appear that he will lose his job.

"The governing board shows that slavery of people of color was based, among other things, on their comparison with monkeys," reads the statement from the CNCD, translated by Insider's associate translation editor Ruqayyah Moynihan. "As a result, such statements express a form of extreme racism."

Read more: The woman who accused Neymar of raping her has been charged with fraud, extortion and slander by Brazilian police

This isn't the first time Williams has been subjected to racial abuse.

At the Sony Ericsson Championship in Miami in 2007, a heckling fan was removed for shouting: "That's the way to do it! Hit the net like any Negro would!" at her, according to The Washington Post.

Most infamously, after the US Open final in 2018, Australian newspaper The Herald Sun twice printed a cartoon depicting Williams as an angry baby with an oversized nose and lips.

Alex Ohanion, Williams' husband, branded the cartoon by Mark Knight "racist and misogynistic," however an Australian media watchdog ruled it not so, claiming the drawing merely showed Williams "in a highly animated tantrum."

Williams, who lost in the US Open final to teenager Bianca Andreescu earlier this month, recently slipped to ninth place in the WTA's tour rankings, with Australian Ashleigh Barty ranked first.

Read more:

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