Nothing rings in the new year like the perpetuation of offensive racist tropes, right?

Japan's most famous comedy team seemed to think so, choosing to rock blackface on national television during a New Year's Eve special. As part of the popular Downtown comedy troupe, Masatoshi Hamada covered himself in black makeup for an impersonation of Axel Foley, Eddie Murphy's character on the 1984 hit, Beverly Hills Cop.

Brooklyn born writer Baye McNeil, who has lived in Japan for several years, took to Twitter with a word from on high:



McNeil also called for the show's writers to be held accountable:



And McNeil wasn't alone in his criticism: 



While others were hesitant to use the word "racism," they still called foul on the performance:



As always, there were some who felt the whole affair was much ado about nothing, such as this user who cited Eddie Murphy in defending the blackface:



Some who made light of the performance also argued that it was okay because Japan doesn't have the same racial struggles as the United States. McNeil, however, disagreed in an interview with the Huffington Post Japan.

“Blackness is being treated as a tool for comedy, for laughs, and that impacts how I’m perceived and treated on a daily basis here,” he said. “Do you think these comedians care about that? I doubt it. They should. The quality of my life is affected by them.”