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Monday, July 6, 2020

MasterChef star Melissa Leong reveals how she deals with the ‘appalling’ racism on social media

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MasterChef star Melissa Leong has been subjected to appalling racist abuse since debuting on the show earlier this year. 

And now the 38-year-old, who is of Singapore-Chinese heritage, has candidly addressed the vile backlash in a brave interview with TV Week magazine

‘When it happens to you every day of your life, you develop a way to cope,’ Melissa explained. 

MasterChef star Melissa Leong has revealed how she deals with the 'appalling racist' abuse directed at her on social media in a candid interview with TV Week

MasterChef star Melissa Leong has revealed how she deals with the ‘appalling racist’ abuse directed at her on social media in a candid interview with TV Week 

She said she does her best to deal with the vitriol with intelligence and humour, and not allowing herself to sink down to the level of the trolls.   

‘The best thing is to greet it with intelligence, humour and maybe some empathy, because you can’t sink to that level yourself,’ she said.  

But the TV star admitted some days were harder than others. 

Sensible: 'The best thing is to greet it with intelligence, humour and maybe some empathy, because you can't sink to that level yourself,' Melissa said

Sensible: ‘The best thing is to greet it with intelligence, humour and maybe some empathy, because you can’t sink to that level yourself,’ Melissa said

‘There are days when I’m blindsided and feel this palpable jolt to the chest. But having tremendous friends like Andy and Jock helps, we have each other’s backs,’ she added.    

Melissa is incredibly proud of the diversity of the show and told The Herald Sun this week that she was thrilled at the representation being shown on the series. 

Support: 'There are days when I'm blindsided and feel this palpable jolt to the chest. But having tremendous friends like Andy and Jock helps, we have each other's backs,' she added. She is pictured here with Jock Zonfrillo (L) and Andy Allen (M)

Support: ‘There are days when I’m blindsided and feel this palpable jolt to the chest. But having tremendous friends like Andy and Jock helps, we have each other’s backs,’ she added. She is pictured here with Jock Zonfrillo (L) and Andy Allen (M)

‘Everybody deserves to be seen and to be heard. Regardless of whether that is your culture, your language, who you love, your ability, or the way you chose to live your life, everybody deserves to be seen and be heard,’ she said. 

She added that ‘it makes her very happy that people who look like her’ can see themselves on TV.

‘I also hope that it gives those who have not been yet seen or heard adequately a reminder that their time is on its way,’ Melissa said.  

Asian Australians have made up one-third of the contestants this season.

Contestants Brendan Pang, Khanh Ong, Reynold Poernomo and Poh Ling Yeow are all of Asian descent, as are Sarah Tiong, Jess Liemantara and Amina Elshafei, who is of Korean and Egyptian descent.  

MasterChef: Back to Win, which has been praised for being the most diverse in the show’s history, has also included a number of openly gay constants including Brendan Pang, Reece Hignell, Courtney Roulston and Khanh Ong.

Diverse: Melissa is incredibly proud of the diversity of the show and told The Herald Sun this week that she was thrilled at the representation being shown on the series. Asian Australians have made up one-third of the contestants this season. Pictured left to right: Jess Liemantara, Khanh Ong, Poh, Brendan Pang and Reynold Poernomo

Diverse: Melissa is incredibly proud of the diversity of the show and told The Herald Sun this week that she was thrilled at the representation being shown on the series. Asian Australians have made up one-third of the contestants this season. Pictured left to right: Jess Liemantara, Khanh Ong, Poh, Brendan Pang and Reynold Poernomo

Melissa recently hinted she would be returning for the thirteenth season of MasterChef, after this year’s season was a surprise ratings smash.

‘I’m very open-minded to the possibility of doing MasterChef season 13,’ she told Who magazine, but didn’t confirm her spot on the next season.

MasterChef: Back To Win continues on Channel Ten, Monday, 7.30pm. 

Incoming: Melissa has hinted she would be returning for the thirteenth season of MasterChef, after this year's season was a surprise ratings smash. Pictured with her fellow judges

Incoming: Melissa has hinted she would be returning for the thirteenth season of MasterChef, after this year’s season was a surprise ratings smash. Pictured with her fellow judges

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