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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

When Harry Met Blackface

Posted by on Wed, Oct 7, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Last night, American pop star/movie actor Harry Connick Jr. appeared as a judge on Australia's Gong Show-styled TV program Hey Hey It's Saturday. He was not entertained by what he saw, and in a friendly but pointed manner, eventually stops the show to explain why. Here's the whole shebang:

"If I knew that was gonna be a part of the show, I definitely wouldn't have done it," says Connick of (and during) his appearance. Good for him. If I were a voter heading into the ballot booth that is my envelope, I would pull the lever for him.

Thank you, Melbourne-based Slog tipper Arion.


Comments (174) RSS

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In the peepshow booth that is my cubicle I am pulling my lever for him now.
Posted by gloomy gus on October 7, 2009 at 10:00 AM · Report this
Fnarf 2
The casual racism of a lot of Australians beggars belief. They're thirty years behind us in some ways.
Posted by Fnarf on October 7, 2009 at 10:07 AM · Report this
The Amazing Jim 3
I don't want to catch anyone abusing the abos...

...if anybody's looking.
Posted by The Amazing Jim on October 7, 2009 at 10:14 AM · Report this
kim in portland 4
Good for him.
Posted by kim in portland on October 7, 2009 at 10:27 AM · Report this

Agreed. I visited there a while back and was pretty stunned. White Australians don't get it.
Posted by STJA on October 7, 2009 at 10:33 AM · Report this
TVDinner 6
Oh. My. God. "A lot of color on this show?" Did the host really say that?

It's amazing when he goes on to apologize to Harry that he seems to completely ignore the reality that his own country has - gasp! - people who aren't white.

Posted by TVDinner http:// on October 7, 2009 at 10:41 AM · Report this
Posted by clearlyhere on October 7, 2009 at 10:44 AM · Report this
I always thought Harry was a class act.
Posted by tiktok on October 7, 2009 at 10:44 AM · Report this
lark 9
I have visited Australia. A fine country but it still retains more prejudices, far more so than America, I believe. Good on Connick. That piece is quite vile.
Posted by lark on October 7, 2009 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Jason Josephes 10
I'm not liking Men At Work's new musical direction.
Posted by Jason Josephes on October 7, 2009 at 10:51 AM · Report this
Irena 11
He handled that fantastically well. I have no doubt that he charmed more than a few Australians into thinking twice about such idiocy in the future.

He's sexy as hell, too. I'd love to see more American men with that kind of style, intelligence, and confidence.
Posted by Irena on October 7, 2009 at 10:57 AM · Report this
Loveschild 12
Right on Mr Harry Connick Jr.! I'm proud to call you my fellow countryman and have you represent the U.S anywhere.

Given the behavior of the "performers" the fact that they're supposed to be educated individuals, doctors no less and the cheering of the mob audience, is it then any wonder the discrimination, theft and ill treatment Australian Aborigines as black people have had to put up with from the descendants of those who colonized their lands? No it isn't. What you saw in this video is just a glimpse.
Posted by Loveschild on October 7, 2009 at 11:00 AM · Report this
michael strangeways 13
I'm not a huge Connick fan (the swarminess---eck!) but kudos to him for saying something.

And, blackface is soooo the top of my head, the last time I saw genuinely funny black face was Gene Wilder in Silver Streak.
Posted by michael strangeways on October 7, 2009 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Jenny from the Block 14
Ha, the host's attempt at an American accent at the end sounds more like Borat than anything else.
Posted by Jenny from the Block on October 7, 2009 at 11:53 AM · Report this
LOL Australia has more prejudices than America. That is hilarious. So you guys visited Australia once and suddenly became an expert on Australians and our culture.

I find it amusing that on watching that skit the one thing I wasn't thinking of was they were guys with black faces but you guys DID! Hmmm seems us Aussies don't have hang ups over race that Americans still do. Btw why do Americans need to state that their juries are either all white, all black or a mixture of both. Who gives a stuff!

For your info most of that group of doctors in that skit aren't "white" as you would put it. They were of mixed races - 2 were Indian and another was Lebanese. It was a piss-take and a parody. If you were such experts on Australian culture as you claim to be you would know Aussies take the mickey out of everything especially ourselves.

As for "casual racism" - oh please let's just make things up. Then again we aren't as blatant to allow racist hate organisations such as the KKK to still exist and "protect" their "freedom of speech" under our constitution. Hypocrites!

30 years behind lol. I'll remember that given our migrant intake last year from all corners of the globe was around 200,000 (almost 1% of our total population). We have over 200 nationalities here. Melbourne where I live has the largest Greek population outside Athens. Australia today was built on immigration and a bloody successful, prosperous and happy go lucky one at that. Funny how people want to move here in droves despite how apparently terrible us Aussies are but who can blame them. For such a "backwards" country it's funny how we are one of the rare if not the only developed nation to avoid recession during this GFC and are now raising our interest rates to avoid our economy growing too quickly. Maybe you guys could learn something about prudent economic management.

Proud Aussie
Posted by Proud Aussie on October 7, 2009 at 12:03 PM · Report this
--MC 16
Am I surprised? A little. Don't forget, "The Black And White Minstrel Show" was popular on the BBC in the UK until 1978.…
Posted by --MC on October 7, 2009 at 12:06 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 17
Then again we aren't as blatant to allow racist hate organisations such as the KKK to still exist and "protect" their "freedom of speech" under our constitution. Hypocrites!

Yes, we're so hypocritical for valuing freedom of speech.
Posted by keshmeshi on October 7, 2009 at 12:09 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 18
Borat proved that many people when faced with weirdness or outright bigotry are too timid to speak out about it (assuming they even disagree with it). Good on Mr. Connick Jr. for saying something.
Posted by keshmeshi on October 7, 2009 at 12:11 PM · Report this
Sir Vic 19
@15 Let us know when the Aborigines get casinos. ... And where the large enclaves of prosperous African immigrants are located.
Posted by Sir Vic on October 7, 2009 at 12:15 PM · Report this
@12 - Yup, racism is bad and they have work to do. Since the US, like so many other post-colonial countries, has it's own history and issues and its own work to do, I'd throttle back the smug superiority a few notches.

After all, same-sex couples in Australia are treated equally with opposite-sex defacto couples for all federal benefits and entitlements. Many Australians no doubt find the irrational prejudice against treating gay and lesbian people equally in the United States just as repugnant.
Posted by a desire for less hypocrisy on October 7, 2009 at 12:28 PM · Report this
Loveschild 21
Facts always speak louder than the nonsense spewed by the oppressors.
Posted by Loveschild on October 7, 2009 at 12:41 PM · Report this
Eric F 22
@15 "I find it amusing that on watching that skit the one thing I wasn't thinking of was they were guys with black faces but you guys DID!"

I've heard of people saying they "don't see color", but not seeing blackface is pretty impressive. How did you get so enlightened?
Posted by Eric F on October 7, 2009 at 12:48 PM · Report this
Oh, fuck the racism!

What's worse is that "Hey, Hey It's Saturday" is back on television.

Posted by Aaaarrrggh on October 7, 2009 at 12:52 PM · Report this
So you support KKK's right to freedom of speech in the US who have a history of terrorist acts and murdering blacks, jews, catholics ........ yet are outraged at some lousy tv skit in Australia taking off the much loved Jackson 5 because their faces were painted. You seriously have your prorieties screwed up.

@12 and 19
And your indigenous Indian people have had such a great time over the past 360 years since the Pilgrims arrived. Your decendants stole their land as well you dopey gits. Do you still play cowboy and indians! You do also realise Australian Aborigines aren't African. The indigenous populations of both our countries were treated like shit by our ancestors. So don't try to be so holy and thou on that front.

Some famous indigenous Australians - politicans, magistrates, lawyers, sportspeople…

Our African immigration is very recent since refugees fled from war-ravaged Sudan and Somalia. Our largest non-European population would be East Asian, Middle Eastern and from the Indian subcontinent. They seem to be doing all right for themselves.
Posted by Proud Aussie on October 7, 2009 at 1:13 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 25

Hey, you're the fascist wanting to shut down anyone who disagrees with you.
Posted by keshmeshi on October 7, 2009 at 1:30 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 26

Also, I guarantee that each and every member of the KKK throughout history LOVED blackface and minstrelsy, assuming they didn't participate in it themselves.
Posted by keshmeshi on October 7, 2009 at 1:32 PM · Report this
keshmeshi 27

Lastly, the KKK has long been treated as a potential terrorist threat by law enforcement, but, you see, we have laws in this country that state that you can't be arrested for something until you've actually committed a crime. Considering your fascistic arguments, I guess Australians just do things differently.
Posted by keshmeshi on October 7, 2009 at 1:34 PM · Report this
"Hey, you're the fascist wanting to shut down anyone who disagrees with you."

LOL and who says Americans don't do irony!?
Posted by Yogi on October 7, 2009 at 2:17 PM · Report this
Hi Im Australian, living in Melbourne. Australia is a rascist country with a lot of ignorant people that dont see dressing up in Blackface as being rascist. This morning there were a lot of comments on talkback radio. Mostly it was white people saying that the uproar is political correctness gone mad,that its all in fun, that its a joke and should be taken as such.
Im embarassed by this type of ignorance. I love the way Harry Connick handled the situation.
Take the backward, rascists off the tv and teach Australians a lesson
Posted by robble on October 7, 2009 at 3:25 PM · Report this

!!!!! Shocked beyond words. I had no idea Australia was such a throwback to uglier times.
Posted by smbs on October 7, 2009 at 3:35 PM · Report this
I have always believed that those who shout and protest most about racisim are those that are truly racist themselves.
Yes I am Australian, and yes people with hate still do exist here and are found amongst all our varied communities. But this can be said of all countries against those with whom they percieve to be 'different'. I consider the 'differences' of my fellow Australians to be this nations greatest asset as it has allowed us to be a truly cosmopolitan nation that represents the great diversity that humanity has to offer. I am truly blessed to have great friendships with people of 'different' race, 'colour', sexuality and religion, and believe that this is indicative of the vast majority of my fellow Australians. To be quite frank we couldn't give a F@&K! where you come from, which God you pray to or who you sleep with.

From what I can understand of the 'rest' of the world, you guys still have this lingering guilt of what was commited in your past by your ancestors or to them. It is your inhibition not to embrace the future that chains you to your past. "Of whoa is me... I'm being oppressed..."

If you can't find humour in celebrating the differences that is perceived amongst us then go and put your head in a bucket of sand and do the rest of us a favour.

Me thinks you doth protest to much.

And before you all jump onto your bandwagons, yes I am "white" and my wife is "Chinese" and my kids are "Eurasian", and we celebrate the fusion of our loving family . Yes we are Australian, as this is the land of our birth, and nothing more.

Strange I don't I hear you "protesters" cry about the misery and injustices of the world being committed now amongst our less enlightened fellow world citizens. But I guess it's easier to blame us, for you own failings as nations.

Toughen' the f..k up.
Posted by waldothewonderfish on October 7, 2009 at 3:46 PM · Report this
michael strangeways 32
I love it when non-Americans get huffy about their own racial politics and wheel out the tired old saw that Americans invented racism...
Posted by michael strangeways on October 7, 2009 at 4:07 PM · Report this
Loveschild 33
The entity on # 31 has revealed him/herself as a true supremacist. Same line supremacist use. "From what I can understand of the 'rest' of the world, you guys still have this lingering guilt of what was commited in your past by your ancestors or to them. It is your inhibition not to embrace the future that chains you to your past. "Of whoa is me... I'm being oppressed...""
While conveniently forgetting that the actions committed in the past and its consequences still reverberate in communities like that of the Australian Aborigines who got the short end of the stick IN THEIR OWN LAND.
Posted by Loveschild on October 7, 2009 at 4:37 PM · Report this
hey keshmeshi, you absolute dipshit, it's ok what happened to the american indian because you gave them CASINOS!!

U S A U S A U S A.

In the words of an american, fuck y'all
Posted by josho on October 7, 2009 at 4:40 PM · Report this
hey keshmeshi, you absolute dipshit, it's ok what happened to the american indian because you gave them CASINOS!!

U S A U S A U S A.

In the words of an american, fuck y'all

The land of the free, home of the brave and third world country in the making.
Posted by josho on October 7, 2009 at 4:43 PM · Report this
@11 - Sadly, no, from what I can gather. Not only is there is a very real undercurrent of racism in Australia but there is also a long held resentment towards America that surfaces quickly when we perceive any sort of criticism. Harry could hardly have handled that better, and has a long and happy association with the show, but rest assured there will be many viewers who will want nothing to do with him after this. For what it's worth though, I doubt the skit was motivated by racism. You're only going to know why blackface and the like is offensive if you've had to seriously address racism in your nation or culture and Australia as a whole has pretty much managed to avoid doing that. #5 was right, most white Australians really just don't get it. Those Aussies saying they don't understand what the fuss is about are more than likely completely sincere. That said, this is a horrible faux pas that should have been stopped long before it got to air and a sad moment for a show that - unlike a lot of more recent TV - has never once been malicious or deliberately unkind in any way.
Posted by Humbug on October 7, 2009 at 4:43 PM · Report this
they were indian and lebanese blokes. it was hardly racist.

we don't have your history here in australia...
Posted by rambo on October 7, 2009 at 4:46 PM · Report this
I just want to know how you can do a parody on the Jackson 5 if you go on a stage with lily white skin and black hair? And yes I am an indigineous Australian and to #3 the Amazing Jim, calling me an "abo" is much more offensive over here than what I saw last night.
Posted by IA on October 7, 2009 at 5:01 PM · Report this
I just want to know how you can do a parody on the Jackson 5 if you go on a stage with lily white skin and black hair? And yes I am an indigineous Australian and to #3 the Amazing Jim, calling me an "abo" is much more offensive over here than what I saw last night.
Posted by IA on October 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM · Report this
No Americans didn't invent racisim. And I never said you did.But I'm surprised you don't claim that you have. As a people you act as if you do, or have the right to believe that you are the only people in the world to have suffered or have dealt out inequality. You just can't seem to move on from it as an overiding umbrella of your society. It tends to block out the sunshine. As to the aborigines in this country, yes there are still many issues to be addressed and a lot of wrongs have been and are still being committed and many goverments and organisations over the years are still trying to redress these issues. The aboriginal peoples of this nation are an asset to our society as any and all that come here. Your perception of how we view them maybe tainted with a little guilt that maybe all is not well in your own backyard and your own past and you still haven't adequately addressed these issues. America is good at telling the world how to live the American dream, well maybe we just don't want what you are trying to sell and hypocricy of your so called democratic society. We ain't perfect but at least we can take the piss out of ourselves and are comfortable in doing it. We as a nation have and are still coming to terms with the past, but as I said we have unshackled ourselves from chains as a nation and are embracing the future.
But Loveschild as you appear to be an expert of the injustices of our indigenous peoples maybe you could give the Australian goverment and people your expert advice. As "in their own land", I was born here in this land and I consider myself of this land. What do you consider youself?
The original population of this land "Mungo Man" who's remains have been found at Lake Mungo where themselves supplanted by our "indigenous" peoples. Human history is full of migration. What do you want us to do move back to our common ancestral roots in Africa? Europeans once tried that. It was branded colonialisim, our do we talk about that wonderous experiment of Liberia?
Posted by waldothewonderfish1 on October 7, 2009 at 5:16 PM · Report this
"The entity on # 31 has revealed him/herself as a true supremacist." Supremacist in what? That I live in a wonderful country with wonderful people. Maybe we as a people can come to terms with who we are and what we are. We don't give a rat's arse where you are from, just jump into the pot and blend in. The more the the greater the flavour the happier we as a nation are. If I am to follow your premace of what I am I'll ask my half white bastard children if daddy still loves them. Damn right I'm supremacist, that's because I don't live in a neo-colonial nation that wants the glory of an empire but has none of the breeding and maturity, nor the cultural empathy that underscores what makes a nation great. America's only tangable philosophy tends to be if you can't sell it to them, then bomb the shit out of them as they must be our enemy. You wonder why as a people you make others cringe.
Posted by waldothewonderfish2 on October 7, 2009 at 5:43 PM · Report this
Loveschild 42
WoW! I thought i had heard it all.

It turns out that the carving up of Africa by europeans was just a yearning on their part to return to the land of the first humans. Who knew!

Same argument has been done by your fellow colonist here with the bering strait bullshit theory and all, trying to imply that Native Americans displaced, get a load of this!, caucasian populations that predated them. Sound familiar....hmm. It doesn't surprises me that the offspring of the colonist in australia are trying to do the same thing with Australian Aborigines.
Posted by Loveschild on October 7, 2009 at 5:45 PM · Report this
Yes, it was an in sensitive act, considering Harry Connick was on, but it has completely different conotations in Australia. Our country, although not exempt from poor treatment of our indigenous people, did not abduct black people from Africa , inslave them , then inforce segregation upon then.

The 'Red Faces' segment from the show is supposed to be a joke, a talent contest about bad acts. Yes, that particular act wasn't needed, yes it was thoughtless, but it just doesn't have the same connotations for Australians as it does for Americans. Please do not put all Australians into the same category. We are not all racists, every country has some people who are racists. You have groups of people who like to wear white hoods...The majority of Australians are educated, well informed, thoughtful people. But we are all different and it in no way was meant to be offensive!
Posted by Fi Melbourne, Australia on October 7, 2009 at 5:48 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 44
This looks more like ignorance than hatred to me.

Minstrel shows were not offensive simply because whites portrayed blacks; they were offensive because while portraying them, they ridiculed them. To be offended by a white person wearing black face who is not ridiculing blacks, you have to understand the history of race relations in the US - specifically, the history of the minstrel show.

The only ridicule I see in this clip is the white makeup on the MJ character. Without the historical context, the exaggeration of the racial features is no more offensive than the quadruple D boobs of a drag queen. And please, queens, I read the comments above, so if you want to counter that argument, do so without pointing out the intent or meaning of drag performance. Intent is what makes minstrel shows racist. Assuming simple (and frankly, understandable) ignorance on the part of the performers, I see no such intent here.

I'm sure that the Aussies have their own race relations problems, and very specific things that they consider racist due to their own history that we Americans have no idea of (proven by @3 above). But don't confuse theirs with ours.
Posted by Free Lunch on October 7, 2009 at 5:57 PM · Report this
While it may not be as blatant as it once was, racism is still a problem. Every nation in the world has a sordid past of racially motivated discrimination, not just Australia or America. Getting into a pissing match about who is the most enlightened and insulting each other is just another form of racism.

I am an Australian. I refused to watch the Hey Hey it's Saturday reunion show as I found it purile & offensive when it was originally on air. I am not suprised that the producers (one of whom is the host) found it amusing to bring back such an appalling act. When I saw the act replayed on a morning news show, I found the whole thing disrespectful, distasteful, offensive and juvenile and soundly applaude Harry Connick Jrs response. Unfortunately, there is still an element in Australia that finds acts such as this amusing. "It's all harmless fun" they cry. No, it's not. It's a bloody big insult to people of coloured decent and has no place in an educated, modern society. What I can't understand is how "highly educated" doctors from "multi-cultural backgrounds" can't see that what they did was wrong.
Posted by mrswes on October 7, 2009 at 5:59 PM · Report this
The Jacksons skit was discusting & Harry rightly condemned the idiocy of it; I was outraged that such shit could still be transmitted on free to air tv & at such an evening prime time slot. My heart felt appologies to the Jackson Family & to Black American Citizens.

I have also been outraged at some of the hypocritical diatribe mettered by some 'foreign media commentators' stating Australia's elevated status as world's worst racist & jingoistic parody offenders.

Of course the USA & GREAT BRITAIN have a stainless record when it comes to race crimes & bigotry & have every right to condemn backward, colonial, usurping Australa.

I think there is more the green eyed monster than outraged moral high ground indignation motivating these frothing journos, especially Marina Hyde-park resident
Posted by jcc on October 7, 2009 at 6:09 PM · Report this
ok America and Australia are both still plagued by racism so lets not pretend we are all better than each other. All I want to say is please don't just assume that everyone in my country (Australia that is) is racist just because some stupid TV executives couldn't see how a black face skit would be offensive (yes some australians are stupid as well as racist). I love my country dearly and it really pains me to see that people can still be racist in this day and age. The fact is racism makes headlines however being accepting of other races and getting along with them doesn't usually make worldwide news; so you guys over in america see the bad but not the good. Also it is impossible to think after being to Australia once or tiwce that you know any about us or who we are if people were that narrow minded then all they would think about Americans is they are fat, stupid and lazy because that is your stereotype. So let me stress my point that while Australia still has a long way to go at correcting its past wrongs there is a lot of us here who are working towards that.
Posted by Caitlin of Perth on October 7, 2009 at 6:17 PM · Report this
Oh Australia is DEFINITELY full of ignorant, ignorant, racist sons-of-bitches, don't get me wrong. But in their defense "blackface" is an American thing. I had to look it up in the Wikipedia earlier this year because I'd given up on trying figure out what the hell that was exactly... (I'd gleaned black, face and some scornful connotations.)

So whilst I grasp why it has become an issue - it's not our fault that you guys went overboard with that, to the point that if you paint your face any colour it sure as fuck had better not be black.

Not defending that at all. Regardless the whole thing was uncomfortably tasteless, predictable, and clearly total crap even with the sound off for other equally relevant reasons. Nuf said.

What I do think needs discussing at great length though - is how Harry Connick Jr. actually looks really kinda hot even when he is thoroughly disgusted with what the fuck is unfolding there.
...god damn Even with everything else going on, did anyone else notice that?
Posted by Terra Nullus... on October 7, 2009 at 6:17 PM · Report this
Hmm I feel the American reaction to this is yet another attempt to control what the world thinks, believes and does. But that view would be as ignorant as you American's calling my country racist. We are not racist. Unlike America we do not share the same past, so cultural sensitivity differs. I think America is a great country, in fact the second greatest country after my own. We never enslaved black's or any other race. We have never abandoned a predominately black population in a terrible natural disaster (New Orleans). We wouldn't have death threats directed toward the leader of our country because of the colour of that person’s skin. There was nothing rasist about the performance. Political correctness gone stupid. So I'll put it as Australian as it can get, "Have a look in your own backyard before you criticize someone else's".
Posted by meandmy on October 7, 2009 at 6:18 PM · Report this
How is this any different to Robert Downey Jr's Character in Tropic Thunder??????
Posted by Comment on October 7, 2009 at 6:23 PM · Report this
You Yanks , (oops sorry for that racist remark)
Why generalise that all Australians are racist????? IT WAS A JOKE....but maybe the citizens of the great USA have lost their sense of humour except maybe behind closed doors.
Is it right to generalize that all the citizens of the USA are: ignorant, red necks, loud mouths, war mongers and every other tag that the rest of the world has labeled you. NO its not right to say this as its not true, so don’t label a country because of a JOKE. Australians have a different sense of humour to most, but we come in peace and mean no malice. By the way I am a ABC….Australian Born Chinese of English decent.
Posted by Comment on October 7, 2009 at 6:39 PM · Report this
I am an australian, grew up in a typical outback town, and I am embarrassed for our country, particularly for the people who are too stupid to know what a racist place we live in. Aboriginals are treated like second class citizens here. Its horrible.
Posted by missmoo on October 7, 2009 at 6:48 PM · Report this
Can't believe the carry on over this whole thing. Keep all the Politcal Correctness in the US and let the rest of us have some fun (most of the time by laughing at ourselves). And by the way stop eating som much junk food - you are all too fat!!!!
Posted by Andy66 on October 7, 2009 at 6:53 PM · Report this
I haven't even seen the skit but all i can say to all those calling Australians racist is this; stereotyping Australians as racist is in itself a racist comment. So who is really 30 years behind you hypocritical idiots! Also, hey hey it's Saturday does not represent Australia..... it's a f#$%ing TV show!
Posted by Aussie on October 7, 2009 at 7:14 PM · Report this
I agree with you comment was a JOKE......not malice intended at all.
Posted by Comment on October 7, 2009 at 7:17 PM · Report this
Im sorry america but i'll let you finish,has anyone seen that american movie called White Chicks with the wayans brothers?? Or even the White Like Eddie sketch by eddie murphy, does anyone realise that the men behind the black face paint are of mixed ethnic backgrounds one of which is indian (not native american, hindu indian)? See us cacka (cracka = a common racist term used by americans of african descent in common day america and used as racial slurs against white americans and is for some strange reason acceptable, go figure) australians arent bothered by it for the simple reason where not americans who enslaved africans for 400 years and dont have that racist mentality as all americans do, oops im genralising like americans now, oops by half of america.
Posted by OZZY_OCCA on October 7, 2009 at 7:20 PM · Report this
Why should the world be made feel guilty for what white americans did to their african american friends. It was an Australian show made for Australians who have a sense of humour..

Maybe you Americans should stop worrying about a comedy skit done in fun and worry more about all the innocent people you kill on a daily occurence.
Posted by Kingbell on October 7, 2009 at 7:20 PM · Report this
Every single country has racism spread throughout it. Take a look at the movies your country produces before you start pointing the finger. How is Robert Downey Jr in Tropic Thunder any different? Or the movie White Chicks?
Racism is an aspect of ignorance.
Posted by TLW on October 7, 2009 at 7:26 PM · Report this
The fact that the audience responded positively to the act is evidence in itself, Australian are racist. Maybe they are sub-consiously racist (admitting racism is a no-no in Oz land) and to a great extend rather backwards. Just try to take public transport in Australia. They do not even have a train track that will allow seamless travel. Really without the USA Australia would be an Asian colony by now. So pay your respects to those who protect you, remember that in USA we do not share your sense of humour on racists issues.
Posted by Sam Black on October 7, 2009 at 7:30 PM · Report this
As a bystander to all this, it's interesting to note that those who are condemming the act immediately assumed that the guys in it were white guys. When in reality they are from a variety of ethnic groups and there's only 1 of the 6 guys who's white.
Perhaps you were so quick to assume the guys were all white because you have become used to white people in America being racists and immediately assume it's the same around the world. This whole uproar makes just as a sad reflection on America as the act did on Australia.
Posted by Pakky26 on October 7, 2009 at 7:32 PM · Report this
Sam Black of comment is some Aussie slang're a WANKER
Posted by Comment on October 7, 2009 at 7:40 PM · Report this

"Maybe you Americans should stop worrying about a comedy skit done in fun and worry more about all the innocent people you kill on a daily occurence."

Bravo on the above statement. Also while Im here, apart from having a horrific standard of living by western standards, the ol US of A has got to be the most racially segregated country I've ever seen. Been to LA lately? Black, latino and whites all have their own suburbs.
Posted by landoftheretards on October 7, 2009 at 7:50 PM · Report this
The Jacksons were black, were they not? What's the issue? You guys need to get a life, man!!! Only one of them is people are black..white people are white...we are all of different colours, so don't use it as if it isn't reality!!!
Posted by coolboarderguy on October 7, 2009 at 7:51 PM · Report this
I agree with comment 59 - Americans need to stop worrying about the rest of the world and start losing some weight.
Posted by wewre on October 7, 2009 at 7:58 PM · Report this
I'll even add, if I wanted to impersonate, Jackie Chan, should I do it wearing a blonde wig and blue eye contacts...wonder if anyone would know I was doing Jackie Chan? Get over yourselves, it was a skit, that seems to have been pounced on, due to some mostly non-white guys, donning black paint, to impersonate, wait for it, a famous "black" singing group....FMD!!!
Posted by coolboarderguy on October 7, 2009 at 7:58 PM · Report this
Seriously, Americans lecturing anyone, of any nationality, about racism? Something about glass houses and the people who live within them?
Posted by swerdna on October 7, 2009 at 8:02 PM · Report this
And, for the hosts comments, Oh. My. God. "A lot of color on this show?" Did the host really say that? We dont use the word colour (color) in the same context as you Americans do/did. So, once again, you've reacted to something that exists/existed in your own country for centuries....hypocrites!!! Hey, why is it, that in almost all American blockbusters, the hero is Caucasian? What, there are/were no colo(u)red heroes? Ridiculous!!!
Posted by coolboarderguy on October 7, 2009 at 8:08 PM · Report this
Ha! Americans. Always having opinions on trivialities. It makes the lack of considered opinion striking.…

The irony here is that Australia is so insulated from racism that it was not even a consideration that the act should offend. Unlike in the US, there is no history of such a form of mockery or degradation. To the men on stage and the audience watching, there were no overtones of racial commentary. In their minds, it was tantamount to dressing up as women.

Perhaps to a country such as the US, whose citizens are so conscious of racial differences, and the proper place of each race, this would've been offensive. In a more culturally integrated society such as Britain, many European countries or Australia, people have the moral sensibility to step back and be able to poke fun of the striking hypocrisy inherent in a society that drives a talented artist like Michael Jackson towards what he became. A symbol of the failures of American society.

Harry, go back to hoarding your money, writing pop standards and your beautiful wife. You have never had a soap box, nor leg to stand on. Steer clear of social commentary and stick to what you're good at - cheesy music.
Posted by Ha! Americans... on October 7, 2009 at 8:23 PM · Report this
Get a grip people. The lead performer in the skit was of Indian descent and the rest of the group are from various racial backgrounds - they are stunned that they are being called racist. It was meant as a bit of fun with no thought of racial undertone from either the performers, the audience or the other judges.

So many Americans are quick to jump on somthing they perceive as racist but to those countries such as Australia with such a diverse multicultural society it was nothing more than a few blokes having some fun.

Posted by WhatMe? on October 7, 2009 at 8:47 PM · Report this
Let he without sin cast the first stone.

In 1996 Harry Connick Jr. appeared in a sketch on MAD TV in a Baptist preacher sketch with ‘blackface.’

In the sketch ‘Revs. LaMont Nixon Fatback’ and ‘Dr. Michael Cassidy’ talk about “the true meanin’ of Chrimmah”… all the things you can do with a “Hair Connick, Joonyah” Christmas CD when you’re all alone during the holidays.

Somehow I suspect it’s likely to be a bit of a talking point today after last night’s Hey Hey incident…..

He didn't mention his brush with ‘blackface’ last night – funny that?

Harry you have lost "face" in my eyes.

What a Bloody hypocrite.…
Posted by Fenn - Proud Australian on October 7, 2009 at 9:30 PM · Report this
Greg 71
What I want to say is, good on the host for recognizing that Harry was offended by the act and apologizing for it. That's the kind of awareness that can lead to real progress.
Posted by Greg on October 7, 2009 at 9:48 PM · Report this
What didja expect him to do? Give them a 10 and keep his mouth shut? Connick is from New Orleans, the cradle of African American culture, and was mentored and taught by African Americans, many of whom consider him family. He's heard the history of minstrel shows and that sort of crap firsthand. Sorry, Aussies. But if anyone other than an African American appears in blackface (see the Zulu parade at Mardi Gras), it's offensive. Maybe not in Australia, but Harry ain't from there. And no matter where he's at, he's gonna keep that history with him.
Posted by icanthandlethismuchlonger on October 7, 2009 at 9:56 PM · Report this
Greg 73
And good on Harry for how he handled the situation as well. He explained why it was offensive, but he didn't belittle the performers or the host for their ignorance.
Posted by Greg on October 7, 2009 at 9:58 PM · Report this
I resided in Australia for a few years and one thing I noticed is they have this huge protect free speech thing, so anybody who is openly racist is not condemed. Also it seemed to be only white people on tv, radio and in the newspaper. Im not saying Australia is as bad as South Africa once was but there is an underlining currant.
Posted by Jason8654 on October 7, 2009 at 9:59 PM · Report this
I think you'll find the problem is that most Australians don't know who or what this 'blackface' character is you all keep referring to. You see... that's because that was American racist african-american stereotyping of the pre-Hollywood live shows and earlier Hollywood era. Well you know what... the Aussies weren't there for that! You all hold onto it because it is your racist past and you feel you need act offended by it. I'm sure the image exists in Oz but it carries no racist history and is long forgotten. Just like when one black commentator said 'whiteface' is not offensive as it has no history... well 'blackface' has no history there either. So when the audience (the majority of whom would have been born in the 60's or much later) saw a bunch of guys with black makeup on they didn't think 'blackface'... they thought "Hey aren't they doing the Jackson 5? Didn't those guys have dark skin and frizzy hair? Well I guess they'd better put on some makeup and a wig then". Sure the actual act was amateur and shithouse... but that's the aim of segment... its for amateurs to come on and make tools of themselves on TV (kind of like Idol Audition specials). However, that's why Aussies aren't getting all the hubbub... they understand what racism is... but the image of 'blackface' (whatever that might be... you talk about him like he is a person) has no racist background.
On the upside at least... Australia doesn't have it's police shooting unarmed black youths on the street... and people thinking this is acceptable. I guess racism must be all about what you say and not what you do :)
Posted by JayTee on October 7, 2009 at 10:06 PM · Report this
of course with Americas 350 years of killing native americans and african americans, so nonchantly and expertly, then a very short twenty years of politically correctness, you are in a great position to call out racist australia. Well known fact americans dont have a sense of humour, but more to the point we couldn't care less what Harry or the rest of you think. Schmader, like the majority of your countrymen, your a self righteous knob.
Posted by Digger on October 7, 2009 at 10:10 PM · Report this
we may well be thirty years behind you as some suggest but harry also played a black preacher in a comedy scketch . So it seems as though you have forgiven him for his past 'sins'.We dont critise you about skits on saturday night live and such , so leave us in peace.You laugh and ridicule your presidental candidtes and thats ok even thoug thay may well be the next president .You allow Nazis to parade through washington and celebrate the life of hitler .No problem you say FREE SPEECH , well how about allowing others the same right .
Australians love america and its people , so dont write us of just yet
Posted by aussie rob on October 7, 2009 at 10:13 PM · Report this
You Americans need to get a life, god, your way to sensitive, fancy calling Australia racist, we dont invade other countries, we dont try to force a decadant lifestyle such as yours on other countries. The whole planet would be better of if you stupid pricks didnt exist. Get a life we really dont give a shit what a bunch of politicaly correct wankers think of us. boo hoo
Posted by memnoc on October 7, 2009 at 10:13 PM · Report this
This skit has been blown way out of proportion. The blackface issue is an American debate, not an Australian one. What the producers probably should have thought twice about, was asking an American to judge the show. This would not have created the controversy that it has. The comment from the host at the end of the skit saying "there is a lot of colour on this show" was said with 'tongue in cheek' because the segment is called 'Red Faces'. It seems that the reports coming from overseas are not mentioning that - just reporting what the host said. Just keeping you informed..

Posted by susieq72 on October 7, 2009 at 10:35 PM · Report this
"Race and skin colour are simply not of any significance to us here."
Then what the hell is all the fuss about? Why not comment on how the five guys went on to become successful, intelligent professionals? I'm now wondering if we're so racist in Australia how we let that happen seeing as those gentlemen were predominantly from multicultural backgrounds?
Posted by Sharon on October 7, 2009 at 10:38 PM · Report this
Whilst Americans are calling Australians racist, it seems to me that they are the ones that care about the colour of a persons skin. You preach about how behind the times we are here, and yet you are the ones still creating an issue out of something that should have been forgotten years ago. If black people dressed up as white people would that be racist? I wonder how many black people were actually offended from this before they were told to be by the so called morally correct of society
Posted by Robb on October 7, 2009 at 10:39 PM · Report this
IT WAS A JOKE PEOPLE for Australian television for Australians. Our sense of humour maybe different, and it does not make all of Australians racist. As Michael Jackson would sing "there is good and bad in everyone"

And being 30 years behind the USA well thats another argument for another day.

Which country would I prefer to live in at the moment???? AUSTRALIA, except I've been transfered to the good ole USA, because they can not find the right person to do what I do, figure that out.
Posted by Comment on October 7, 2009 at 10:43 PM · Report this
didnt robert downey jnr get nominated for an oscar playing a role in a comedy where he wore black face/body paint? Australia puts it on a show and its racist but america nominates that behaviour for its highest acting award, so i guess in that case it was 'art'?

also, my favorite memory of americans is being on a plane returning from living there for years and sitting next to a middle aged white american woman who was talking about how she was going to fiji to 'save all the poor little fijian kids who didnt even know about god' seriously, americans dont even know they are doing it.
Posted by tatia on October 7, 2009 at 11:01 PM · Report this
There are big differences between Australia and America.
Australian women had the vote a generation before American women.
So who's 30 years behind?

Australia invented the 8 hour urban working day in the 19th Century but Americans kept working daylight (dawn to dusk) for another generation.

The slaves in the Australian colonial era were white, kept in chains by the English Government. The chained boat trip to get them there took six months, not several weeks.

Australians don't sweat the racist issue so much because never kept our fellow humans in slave kennels at the bottom of our gardens like generations of Americans and English people did. And we don't have your well deserved scars. So flagellate yourselves all you like - you deserve it.

We've got our own history and issues. Don't bore us with yours.

Posted by robcru on October 7, 2009 at 11:07 PM · Report this
This is surely some kind of joke. How is this news? The skit in Hey Hey last night was a comedy sketch poking fun at the Jackson 5, nothing more. It wasn't the funniest sketch, but there is no way it can be considered offensive if you have any idea about the context. The sketch was not insulting anyone of a particular racial background; as a number of posters have recognised, the people performing the skit have a variety of different ethnic backgrounds themselves, the skit was not racially motivated at all.

Are there elements of racism in Australia? Unfortunately there are, but I would argue that the majority of Australians are liberal, tolerant and ashamed by the minority who still hold backward, intolerant views on any subject, including racism. The sketch in question was not racist, Australia is not a backward country, and as a proud Australian I am offended by anyone who erroneously states otherwise.

In regard to issues of racial intolerance, I would advise the American posters who have fired a shot at Australia as a country over this harmless sketch on an iconic TV show, that those who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Put your stones down and get your own house in order.
Posted by Oz on October 7, 2009 at 11:07 PM · Report this
wait, so its not blackface if brown, lighter brown, or yellow people do it? shit, where's a jcrew catalogue... need to figure out what kind of face this is.
Posted by cheeky007 on October 7, 2009 at 11:10 PM · Report this
I swear if i hear another person say that Australians are 10-30 years behind Americans....

JUST BECAUSE a few people do like these sort of skits DOES NOT MEAN that we are all ignorant, Racist pigs.

If you've been to Australia and seriously still think that we are all prejudice and racist, i have no idea where you were hanging out!

The skit took the piss out of the whole disco era. AND of michael jackson. If i do remember correctly.... the Jackson 5 were and still are black. Thats not a derogatory term. They are black and I am white. The skit didn't say that being African American is a bad thing?

Posted by 05 on October 7, 2009 at 11:19 PM · Report this
I am an Aussie and I am shocked at how you Americans are so politically correct and self righteous!! Australia is one of the most tolerant and multicultural societies in the world!! We don't have any of the terrible race issues that you have in the US and that is because we ARE more tolerant. You guys really need to look at your own backyard before self righteously criticising others whilst standing on your moral high ground.
Posted by Pall on October 7, 2009 at 11:29 PM · Report this
Posted by The Amazing Jim - you are aware the term 'abo' is an extremeley offensive term in Australia?

So much so that if mentioned that to an Aboriginal, you may not be able to walk home and tell the story to your kids.
Posted by dc18 on October 7, 2009 at 11:31 PM · Report this
I am Australian. I saw the particular segment on the show. I saw Harry's (Connick Jnr) jaw drop to the ground when he saw this 'act', it hit the floor JUST before mine! I agree with Harry - wholeheartedly. It was NOT funny and it was NOT entertainment.

However, judging by your (Americans IN the USA) reactions I feel I should go to a blog about that guy that kidnapped the child in California and kept her as a slave for 20 years and suggest that: "All these American's are kidnappers waiting to pounce on OUR children!" or this little chestnut: "I went to America a year ago and they just DON'T get it. You just can't kidnap people like that in this day and age!"

Just because it was on a rubbish TV show on an Australian TV channel doesn't mean everyone in Australia is rascist.

btw. How is the Klan going over there?? Hypocrits.
Posted by Troncie on October 7, 2009 at 11:32 PM · Report this
The thing that annoys me most about the whole racist debate is that it is aimed at white people insult/degrading other races.

If they were 6 black guys wearing white make-up, would there have been a problem? Would they be branded as racists?

No, because being racist towards white people is allowed. And i think that is a double standard which is not fair!
Posted by Yogi on October 7, 2009 at 11:33 PM · Report this
Sam Black #59, pay our respects to those who protect us. Who the fuck do you think you are, you arogant piece of shit. Typical american, believes the sun rises and falls around the world based on the American ideal.

As to your reference to Australia being a potential Asian colony if you hadn't saved us, if I recall the mighty US didn't get involved until well after Australia and many other smaller nations in terms of arms, didn't get involved until it suited you so go fuck yourself.

For the record we are quite happy with our relationship with Asia and the many who immigrate to this country.

I'm not suprised you referred to a potential Asian colony rather than Japanese, like your countrymen you probably couldn't observe the difference between Japan and China, or Thailand, or Malaysia, can you even point out Japan or Australia for that matter on an atlas, do you know what an atlas is????

Perhaps if the US would spend less money on their defence force and a little more on their education you'd be able to, that's not to mention your health system, ooooh I mention govt funded health, must be a socialist or even, wait for it, a communist. But then again there's the good ol' 2nd amendment, a gun is more important than a doctor or a book any day isn't it.
Posted by josho on October 7, 2009 at 11:39 PM · Report this
It was meant to be a tribute to Michael Jackson ... the ultimate black man who turned himself white ... it was meant to be funny ... were they meant to get 5 black men and a white man to do the skit? I have relatives who are aboriginal ... and i have relatives who are african american... and im caucsasion ....i can see both sides of the fence ... but then i can see where americans are coming from especially since they are labeled from birth as black or white ... (race is listed on their birth certificates) .. so maybe if they take a breathe and see that it was meant to be funny ... not insulting ....its a pity that racism is so bad that something like this is blown all out of proportion ... aussies are known for taking the mickey out of themselves ... maybe we shouldnt try to pay a tribute to people int he public eye just in case this happens again
Posted by newsworthy on October 7, 2009 at 11:48 PM · Report this
WOW all these blog pages full of Americans with holier than thou attitudes like you have seen the light. You have the single worst example of a country in the world. Having a black president doesn't make you cured. Every country hyas racism however last night the skit played out by members of minority communities??????? So now we are all picking on the blacks even the indians and lebs.
Posted by greg3333 on October 7, 2009 at 11:51 PM · Report this
As a young Australian who has also lived in Europe for a considerable part of my life, I was shocked and embarrassed by the skit. Harry handled the situation with class and dignity.

There is casual racism here in Australia, and it deeply saddens me, but I must say that I think people are getting a bit carried away with their comments here. Things are really nowhere near as bad as everyone is carrying on about.

Could they be improved? Of course, and we have a long way to go yet (just as do practically all nations in the world)... But please, folks, don't brand the entire country racist. Casual racism is not acceptable to the vast majority of the population here, especially in those aged under 50.
Posted by A Saddened Aussie on October 7, 2009 at 11:52 PM · Report this

These show is for local viewer, it doesn't have the qualities and context to meet your requirement, if you don't understand the context of the show, please don't generalized and stereotyping Australia.

In fact the person who painted his face WHITE was an INDIAN Australian.

To be honest, i don't like the show i don't find it funny, but you guys are all mis-intepreting the act from the comments made by Harry Connick Jnr.

I also apologised if you felt this is racist, but believe me the intentions of the act is not what you think. Because the show is about silly act by silly people in silly make-up.
Posted by Gerson on October 8, 2009 at 12:01 AM · Report this
"Hey, you're the fascist wanting to shut down anyone who disagrees with you.

Also, I guarantee that each and every member of the KKK throughout history LOVED blackface and minstrelsy, assuming they didn't participate in it themselves.

Lastly, the KKK has long been treated as a potential terrorist threat by law enforcement, but, you see, we have laws in this country that state that you can't be arrested for something until you've actually committed a crime. Considering your fascistic arguments, I guess Australians just do things differently. "

"Potential" terrorist "threat"? lol. How many blacks, jews and catholics do the KKK have to murder over 150 years before America classes them as an actual terrorist group of murderous racist thugs. So you have laws that protect the existence of a known criminal organisation that has total disregard for the very liberty and freedom for all you guys claim to stand for. What a strange idea of justice you have over there keshmeshi.

By your argument keshmeshi Al Qaeda should be given a free reign to exist because with suicide bombers it's too late to arrest those that actually commit their terrorist acts and Bin Laden should be treated as innocent under US law because as an individual he doesn't do the actual mass murdering. What a ridiculous argument. Al Qaeda and KKK are both terrorist organisations who kill. Strangely only one is rightly treated as such in the US.

Yep we do do things differently in Australia compared to the US and thank goodness for that.
Posted by Proud Aussie on October 8, 2009 at 12:05 AM · Report this
Funny how you Americans call your President 'Black' when he is actually half black - half white. But, you still call him 'black' because it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Actually, I would consider that attitude very racist. I know many black people who call him as he is....'mixed race'. If I recall his black father ran away from the family leaving the white mother to take care of him and raise him. But yeah...he's still black. Kind of sums it all up, doesn't it. Harry has lost another fan here in Australia. :-(
Posted by Pall on October 8, 2009 at 1:06 AM · Report this
So STJA, you talk of "White Australians" do you.... RACIST!!!

So you have, in the past, seen funny black face have you? What's changed to make it so appalling??

How can you tell a persons skin colour over the radio??

@Everyone who thinks that they are better than me. I am WHITE and I am proud of who I am! Not because I'm WHITE but simply because of who I am. I am not racist! I have many friends who have come from other countries or are Indigenous Australians! All that I have spoken too found the skit humorous and liked the show.
Posted by Aussie Aussie Aussie on October 8, 2009 at 1:27 AM · Report this
Sitakali 100
#49, "We wouldn't have death threats directed toward the leader of our country because of the colour of that person’s skin."
Um...what colour is your PM's skin again? Oh right, he's Aborigine! Right? Cause your country is about to elect an Aborigine as PM any day now.

"We never enslaved blacks or any other race..." no, you just drove your indigenous population off of cliffs, stole their children in an attempt to "purify" their bloodline, and to this day do not recognise them as citizens of your country, refuse to give their land back, and set them on "reservations" which are more like refugee camps.

America is your second favourite country next to Oz? Wow, so you looove countries that destroy their indigenous populations! Cause the US and Oz are the two most famous in the world for their treatment of indigenes.

As an American, I am absolutely ashamed of how we treated our indigenous population, and I have ABSOLUTELY every right to recognise the flaws of racism in another country's culture. As long as I am aware that my country is saturated in ignorance and hatred, I can state my awareness that another country is as well.

Political correctness?! I bet you think that anyone who is offended by being called a "nigger" is being unreasonable. How about "abo?" How could anybody be offended by that endearing term?

This is about respect, like it or not, and your anti-PC bullshit (that apparently got your previous racist slimy prick of a PM elected) is meaningless at best and destructive at worst.
Posted by Sitakali on October 8, 2009 at 2:31 AM · Report this

As an Aussie, I have to say the Americans really have so much to teach us.

Such as:

1. How to maintain a country with deep racial divisions. Check out the proportion of blacks in American jails compared to whites. Land of the free, at least if you're white.

2. How Hollywood continues to produce anti-Arab bigotry. Dreamy.

3. The assembly line of fat, loud, white, bigoted Americans that keep arriving in my delightful city (Sydney). No, have another pizza!

4. Their approach to conflict resolution. Hey! You stepped on my shadow! (pulls .48 revolver) blam blam! Cop my constitutional right square in the noggin (that's head, American imperialist scum).

5. Their commitment to killing civilians. Sorry, collateral damage. 100,000 Iraqi's? Who cares? I'm white, i'm American, and I like sending the blacks off to kill shit.

And what does 11 September 2001 mean to me (oh sorry, 911). Absolutely fantastic video footage. See those buildings come down? That expert and courageous flying? You reap what you sow. "Why do they hate us" I could hear the lemmings yell as they jumped. They hate you because you interfere in middle east politics. Modern-day Iran is of America's making. Screw them over, and you radicalise them. Bingo.

Lived in the US for best part of a year some time ago. Didn't stand for their poxy national anthem once and nearly got lynched. I'm not an American, and i'll only stand for my own anthem, and then only if I get a free beer. Love beer.

Have not and will never will go back just to be fingerprinted.

Americans. So much to teach us. Just happens to be the wrong stuff.

Of course the skit was lame. WTF is that show back anyway? It was terminated a decade ago for good reason: it was lame. Lame lame lame. Like the average American intellect. Lame.

Can't wait for the Chinese to make it a client kingdom.

White Boy.
Posted by WhiteBoy on October 8, 2009 at 2:38 AM · Report this
Hi @100.

Wanna dance?

I don't remember driving the natives off cliffs.

Um, yeah, we stole their kids.

I don't think we tried to purify their "bloodline" as you put it. They were viewed as a dying race, was the rationale. Google "stolen generation report".

They are recognised as citizens. You are at least 40 years out of date.

They are getting some land back. Some legislated in 1970's, some since early 1990's with Mabo case.

Reservations? American term. Missions. We sent them to missions run by jesus-freaks.

Um, yeah, John Howard is a slimy prick. The country finally worked this out. Took a while.

Blackface. Now that's what I call unexpected, creative, comedy gold. Oh Mammy!

Bertie Beatle.

Posted by Bertie on October 8, 2009 at 3:29 AM · Report this
1. Racism: hatred or intolerance of another race or other races. (
No hate or intolerance in that act.
2. The performers were not poking fun at 'African Americans' rather, the Jackson 5 (which the whole world has practically done before).
3. Harry Connick is not in America. I would not impose Australian expectations on another country. he should note it down as an 'experience' in Australia and accept us (and our humour) for who we are.
4. Harry Connick wasn't good guest material (who are you anyway?).
5. I question his validity in 'speaking on behalf of America' - you have no authority.
Posted by -Ty on October 8, 2009 at 3:38 AM · Report this
You Americans are hilarious. A country that lives on a diet of pornography, drugs and violence is offended by a few guys in another country who painted their faces black to pay tribute to iconic black entertainers.

Well guess what, the world doesn't revolve around you. Just because you think painting your face black is racist doesn't mean it is everywhere else. In Australia, this is a light hearted innocent joke and people of any race will find it funny here. Most Aussies don't even know what blackface is, that's your own messed up creation.
Posted by boriswolf on October 8, 2009 at 4:31 AM · Report this
While I respect the right of everyone to have there own opinion, lets put this in perspective. The act was nevr intended to offend. It was a parody of an entertainer which different comedians have been doing for years. Eddie Murphy who has painted his face white to portray different characters for his movies has never received critisism for doing so. Why is this? The desire of each was to entertain. If it was not entertaining to you then that is fine, but don't turn this into a racist issue when it is not.
Posted by kanewlkr on October 8, 2009 at 5:01 AM · Report this
Uh do you Americans even know where Australia is? And no it's not in Europe. That's Austria.

Sitakali, I feel so sorry for your poor uneducated, democatic, "white", middle-class guilt ridden arse.

Please don't comment on issues that is above your pay grade about Australian (not Austrian (that was Hitler)) history.

If only Gibbon's was alive today to write "The Decline and Fall of The American Empire"

It must be comforting to live in a country that is a failed social expirement.

Posted by Waldothewonderfish1 on October 8, 2009 at 5:06 AM · Report this
Harry Connick Jnr, is a H Y P O C R I T E
Watch this video and judge for yourself:…

He must keep his political agenda to himself when he is a VISITOR in another country, he's most welcome to push his personal views BACK HOME IN THE U.S.
How dare he hijack someone else's TV show when he was an INVITED GUEST ?
This is not the best way to promote your falling sales of your CD's, you may have just committed professional musical suicide ...
Posted by Australian on October 8, 2009 at 5:32 AM · Report this
Do a YouTube search for

"Harry Connick, Jr. on MadTV - Preachers Skit"…

Posted by Australian on October 8, 2009 at 5:42 AM · Report this
Why is the entire nation being held accountable for this? I dont remember agreeing to have channel Nine represent my views to the world...but hey, lets just typecast the entire nation of Australia on one poor judgement decision made by a producer on a TV show. I was born here from UK ancestry but my husband is asian descent - Australia is probably one of the most multi-cultural countries in the world.

Can everyone please take a step back and not hold the entirety of our nation responsible for this?
Opinions differ from country to country and these things need to be looked at objectively....this was a comedy show and as an aussie, felt shock when I saw these guys was poor timing and racist but I think this wasnt the message they were trying to send. Australians just dont look too deeply into how hard they hit when they pull the piss as we were grown to respect and aspire to be thick skinned its the australian way and I know people wont get what I mean and thats alright as I know there are diversities from nation to nation that set us apart.

I am saddened that aust has been depicted in this way, its a shame as we are not a racist country.
Posted by ozchick_09 on October 8, 2009 at 6:09 AM · Report this
I'm an Australian, and while I was aware that Australia has a lot of ignorant, backward, racist, (not to mention also homophobic, sexist fuckwits), I was still shocked to see that this thing got aired. (and also horrified to see that that appaling show still exists). And very impressed by Harry's impeccable response.

Just to give you people some context, Hey Hey it's Saturday is one of the most appallingly crappy tv shows we have, watched mostly by the elderly and their grandchildren on saturday nights. Whilst most Australians haven't heard of 'blackface,' I'm still ashamed to be of the same country as all the Aussies defending this skit. They could at least educate themselves before defending it.

The thing with Australia is, we're a big fat country, like the US, with similarly shameful histories. Big fat countries like ours have inland people, and coastal people. Country hicks, and educated city folk. We have less cities, and a lot of country. That bumps up our hick quota. But we also have educated people. The ignorant and proud of it culture we have here is sticking around like a bad smell, but our government does pay for some of our education, so that helps reduce the hick factor. So please don't hate all of us when we come to visit you. Most Aussies are idiots, but a few of us are ok.
Posted by Australia calling on October 8, 2009 at 6:23 AM · Report this
I think the moral of the story, after reading all the above posts, is to not assume, because we all know what that can do.

'Blackface' has no history in Australia (that I know of). In the USA I'm sure as soon as anyone brought this up as a possible skit, someone would have politely told them "not a good idea" due to the history of 'blackface'. In the USA this would be called 'blackface', in Australia to us this is a bunch of guys painting their faces black, to imitate black people. Most haven't even heard of 'blackface'. Is no one allowed to put black paint/ink on their faces anywhere ever again?

Yes the 'blackface' 'comedy' of the past was racist, but racism is in beliefs, not in acts. Killing a black man is not racist, killing him because he is black and you hate black people and think of them as animals IS racist. The belief, not the act.

On the topic of references like 'abo'....... I use the word 'abo' occasionally, although I try not to in public, because I know it may offend some people. Do I mean it as a derogatory term? No, i say 'abo' because saying 'australian aboriginal person' is quite a lot compared to using a two syllable abbreviation of aboriginal. Just like abbreviations like Indo (Indonesian person), Paki (Pakistani), Jap (Japanese person) and Leb/Lebo (Lebanese person) aren't in themselves derogatory.

I think Harry acted pretty well, considering how offensive to him he could percieve the act as being. What he didn't do was realise that he WASN'T in the USA, these men DON'T hate black people and think they are lesser beings (they were quite multi-cultural themselves), and they don't live in a culture where painting your face black has instant association with racist, degrading 'comedy' routines from the past. To some degree he tried to force this on Australia, which is almost a bit arrogant or rude. (Almost, because I'm sure he didn't really mean to).

In conclusion I'll just say try not to LOOK for racism in everything, or assume someone is intentionally being offensive, because a lot of the time they aren't, and would happily change their behaviour and even appologise if you bring it up politely. Ignorant =/= racist or nasty.

P.S. On one account I wish the US hadn't 'saved' us. I'd much prefer to see a nice noodle house in place of every McDonald's!
Posted by Mat on October 8, 2009 at 6:58 AM · Report this
To all the Aussies posting about how wrong this was and how racist it was and not to judge all Australians by it (like ozchick_09 p109), grow some balls, seriously, don't just take other peoples beliefs for your own or act appologetic when you/these guys did absolutely nothing wrong. To quote ozchick_09: "it was poor timing and racist but I think this wasnt the message they were trying to send". It was racist but they weren't meaning to be racist? *facepalm*

Do people even know what 'racist' means? Racist doesn't mean something that is offensive to a particular person. Racism is defined as a belief that differences among races determine cultural or individual achievement or potential, or the hatred or intolerance of members of another race or races.
For anything to be called racist, there has to be this belief, or this hatred behind the act.

@ Australia calling post 110, your post made me cringe. Do you realise how stupid you come off as? Portraying most people from inland Aus as uneducated hicks and putting blame on are to geography what racists are to race (geographycist doesnt sound right >.< ) Pot, meet Kettle.
Posted by Mat on October 8, 2009 at 7:33 AM · Report this

If these 5 guys had come out with no costumes or makeup we would have sat there for a while and gone 'who the hell are these guys?'. Australians look at this and see a group of blokes dressed up as the Jackson 5 (this skit was on the show 20 years ago! no trouble then!) singing some songs. Sure there will be some who might think it's lame, crap, waste of time whatever. and you know what? probably not far off the mark. But us Aussies love a bit of crap tv every now and then and we've never been really good at making our own. Some Americans see this as racist. That's fine, you guys have a lot of history in this department. We've got our own demons too, definately not perfect. But what is NOT fine is labelling the entire country as racist, behind the times, backwards, disgrace to humans whatever. You are more than entitled to your own opinion.
There are 21 million people over here. And we have definately got some dickheads, but we are not all like that. If you don't understand our humour than don't watch it!!! Simple!! Some of your tv shows are not funny at all. 30 Rock? it's crap! makes no sense, isn't even funny!
And I'm sick of people who have 'visited' us claiming they suddenly are experts on our culture.
In the country I live in who cares if you're black, white, abo, a chink, lebo doesn't matter! No one cares! Get over yourself! we're all people. We are a country of immigrants and it definately shows, but we don't have our heads up our arses and we like to have a bit of a laugh at ourselves, stop us from getting too arrogant, thank god. And the majority of us are happy with that. and if you don't like it then don't visit. Problem solved, world peace is restored. (in my dreams ey)

And to the rest of the Aussies, lets go chuck a couple of snags on the barbie, down a couple of cold ones, give the kids some fairy bread and laugh this off.

Posted by happyaussie on October 8, 2009 at 8:12 AM · Report this
#100 you do realise that the 'driving aboriginies off cliffs' was actually just a scene from an 80s tom selleck movie - Quigley Downunder... oh you so edumacated with your fancy holllllywoood mooovies!
Posted by tatia on October 8, 2009 at 2:21 PM · Report this
I will protest racism against Africans the day Africans start protesting all the hate speech coming out of the mouths of black entertainers, politicians, faux civil rights and religious leaders. I don't see that happening. We don't have any true anti-racists since no one but right-wingers will protest against hate speech when it's black folks dishing it out.
Posted by jane 145 on October 8, 2009 at 2:30 PM · Report this
@112 re: Mat's comment... I see where you're coming from about how my comments about about geography's influence on culture. Let me try again. Because I think it's important that we try to understand why Australian culture has evolved the way it has since colonisation (or not evolved as the case may be).

There are a lot of influences that have shaped the Australian culture we have today, that have nothing to do with geography. Intimidation of convicts by officials helped shape the tall poppy syndrome, because anyone who stood out from the crowd would get punished. On top of that mindset, a large influx of immigrants from non European countries in a short period of time and suddenly we have a big mixture of different races, accents, and cultures all being assimilated under the same 'aussie' umbrella that sort of says, we're all the same, we're all aussies,' whatever that means.... (fairy bread did someone say?...) yeah, we're an undeveloped culture. and a lot of Australians cling to little things like that, desperate for a sense of national identity. But back to geography. I don't know if anyone here has read much Ricahard Florida, who talks about the importance of critical mass in innovation, but the crux of it is that when you have population density, people put their heads together, and change happens. ideas happen. While Australia is very urbanised, it still only has a small handful of cities, and most of us live in the suburbs. And since our (Anglo Australians') recent history is rural, we turn to it for a sense of cultural identity. not enough urban history has been made. So in search of a sense of identity, many Australians turn to their rural forefathers for inspiration. Ignorance and simplicity are prized.
Posted by Australia Calling on October 8, 2009 at 4:13 PM · Report this
@#49, "We wouldn't have death threats directed toward the leader of our country because of the colour of that person’s skin."
Um...what colour is your PM's skin again? Oh right, he's Aborigine! Right? Cause your country is about to elect an Aborigine as PM any day now.

"We never enslaved blacks or any other race..." no, you just drove your indigenous population off of cliffs, stole their children in an attempt to "purify" their bloodline, and to this day do not recognise them as citizens of your country, refuse to give their land back, and set them on "reservations" which are more like refugee camps.

America is your second favourite country next to Oz? Wow, so you looove countries that destroy their indigenous populations! Cause the US and Oz are the two most famous in the world for their treatment of indigenes.

As an American, I am absolutely ashamed of how we treated our indigenous population, and I have ABSOLUTELY every right to recognise the flaws of racism in another country's culture. As long as I am aware that my country is saturated in ignorance and hatred, I can state my awareness that another country is as well.

Political correctness?! I bet you think that anyone who is offended by being called a "nigger" is being unreasonable. How about "abo?" How could anybody be offended by that endearing term?

This is about respect, like it or not, and your anti-PC bullshit (that apparently got your previous racist slimy prick of a PM elected) is meaningless at best and destructive at worst.

The Aboriginal people in AUstralia ARE citizens! The government HAS given back traditional land. Not all, yes but a fair amount. You see, it is a little hard to just uproot entire towns, that wouldn't exactly be fair to them.

Reservations? Do you mean missions? that hasn't happened in a while... and the Indigenous Australians who live in ranch sort of things are there because they want to live on their traditional lands.

We cant elect an Aboriginal person as a PM unless he runs? I don't know, but i haven't seen an indigenous candidate in my life time.

Posted by 05 on October 8, 2009 at 5:09 PM · Report this
Dear USA,

This is "act" was and is simply a JOKE meant for AUSTRALIAN television for AUSTRALIANS. Yes in other nations eyes it may have come across as be racist, bit its simply the Australian humour. We don't have the sad history of "black face" within Australia.

Why is our country being labelled as a racist country because of one 90 second act?????

And yet there are literally hundreds of examples in American movies/films, the latest is in Tropic Thunder, Robert Downey Jnr's character, he was not only black faced but he blacked arm/leg and black slang and yet he recieved a Oscar nomination, please can someone explain what is the difference.
Posted by Comment on October 8, 2009 at 6:11 PM · Report this
How is that a tribute to Michael Jackson? That's definitely no tribute MJ would be turning in his grave if he saw this......Looks like the producers knew very well where they were going with this.......thought Hey Hey let's air it and apologise later.....
Posted by Outrqaged on October 9, 2009 at 12:19 AM · Report this
@110 you actually think we'd believe you're australian? -.- bull
Posted by ChrisW on October 9, 2009 at 1:44 AM · Report this
@ 120. Yes indeed I'm Australian. But unlike most proud Aussies, I'm a woman. And since Australian culture bases itself on stupid ignorant macho bullshit, I feel very little national pride. I'm a 6th generation Australian of British descent. Yet the culture which I'm surrounded by has done nothing but alienate me. There are a few things I like about Australians, like the lack of pretension, partially socialised health care and education for the poor, and I think we are more advanced than the US in comedy in some ways (certainly not as seen in the skit in question - cringe!), but mostly, I fucking hate this culture and I can't wait to immigrate out of here. The only thing that makes this country bearable for me is the immigrants from Asia and everywhere else, who help offset the bogans and the yobs. I guess being so un nationalistic makes me a typical Aussie. Cause Aussies are typically not that nationalistic. But yeah, I'm Australian. I'm right in the thick of it. Like any backward or conservative culture, Australia has it's non compliers.
Posted by Australia Calling on October 9, 2009 at 3:19 AM · Report this
@121 let me get this straight...

you've called Australians idiots, ignorant, racist, homophobic, sexist, uneducated, fat and full of country hicks.

If you are a fellow Australian than I have to say, you need to at least learn some manners. Theres a nicer way of putting your opinions our there than simply calling that. If that IS the way you feel, why don't you immigrate out of here? There are plenty of refugees and immigrants that would appreciate it more than you :)

also, bogans and yobs? they could be considered insulting terms too.

Posted by ChrisW on October 9, 2009 at 6:03 AM · Report this
Funny that you call the skit actors racist, when they are in fact of a black race themselves. How about people get off their soapbox, check out the ACTUAL facts and then take it for what it was. A joke, maybe in bad taste, but a joke none the less. And for Americans to call Australians racist is a right laugh when they still have the KKK and beatings of black people by the police. Americans love preaching how good and important they are, but I find the empty vessels make the most noice and the noise is coming from the general dircetion of the USA.
Posted by Luvmydog on October 9, 2009 at 10:47 AM · Report this
USA = Hypocrites

Black/white - Its OK when Robert Downey Jnr does it, but not somebody from America. Its also OK when Eddie Murphy does it, but not when someone who is not American does it!

Nuclear Weapons - (note I am not saying they are OK) USA have no rights to tell other countries they can't have nuclear weapons when they are the only country in history to have actually used them, not once but twice, on their enemies. OK for them to have them and not others (again not saying that is is OK, just that someone other than the Americans should be running the show as they are hypocrites.)

Racism - the USA have KKK the worlds worst racist group apart from the Nazis and then they see fit to comment on other countries. Hypocrites.

President/Prime Minister - true Australia doesn't have a black Prime Minister, but theirs has been homeless at one stage, living in the back of the family station wagon. Even though the USA have a black President, they still only worship the more affluent people in society.

Did you know the most insulting thing you can do to a Candian is call them American ... and they are their next door neighbours and yet they want something more than a border between them, say something the size of the Pacific Ocean!
Posted by Independent Observer on October 9, 2009 at 11:55 AM · Report this
So tell me what the reaction would have been if instead of an all white audience at Hey hey, it had been all aboriginal? Would they have clapped and yucked it up if the doctors had put on black faced, natty wigs, dressed up for a walkabout and ridiculed aboriginals? Would they have clapped and cheered and then come on this blog telling us to lighten up, we don't understand Australian humor and stop imposing our values on them?

Just curious if 'all' Australians like 'having the mickey' taken or if that's just something the 92% who are white think is funny.
Posted by Corey Delaney on October 9, 2009 at 12:01 PM · Report this
While 92% are white only 78% speak English as a first langauage, and that includes the 1% of Aborigines and Torres Straight Islanders. That means that 14% of white people are infact not of Australian or any other English heritage. Racism works several ways. Some find the act funny, some find in appalling, some find it neither. The fact of the matter is that Americans are putting their own perception of history onto another countries way of life. History shapes how things are interpreted and as we are all aware Americans are known for their tolerance of other cultures. Look at the soliders in Guantanamo Bay, the Rodney King beating, KKK and so on. Other semi-tolerant countries including Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are not making a big deal of this. Only the infamously intolerant Americans.
Posted by Independent Observer on October 9, 2009 at 1:55 PM · Report this
"vOther semi-tolerant countries including Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are not making a big deal of this. Only the infamously intolerant Americans."

Really? The Guardian today called it 'mind-boggling' and 'racist'. The Australian today says "Hey hey, we're just ignorant".

Maybe you need to actually read.
Posted by Corey Delaney on October 9, 2009 at 2:07 PM · Report this
Some more comments from Australia:

"Singer Kamahl Takes Offence At Racist Skit"…

"Hey, hey; I think we're stuck in a time warp"…

Seems some Australians have taken offense too.
Posted by Corey Delaney on October 9, 2009 at 2:10 PM · Report this
You stupid arse dick. I said some Australians found it appalling, not none. I read and I wrote. Maybe you should get off your oversized American arse and read, and I mean read carefully in future. By the way, what is it with Robert Downey Jnr doing it in Tropic Thunder and getting nominated, did you cry racism them? Hell no!
Posted by Independent Observer on October 9, 2009 at 2:15 PM · Report this
"Other semi-tolerant countries including Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom are not making a big deal of this. Only the infamously intolerant Americans."

from the Guardian Uk today:…

Tune into our racist culture war, live on primetime TV

The reactions of the "lighten up" brigade come down to that lazy inability to see that just because a word is spoken — or a sketch performed — in non-malicious jest, it can nonetheless cause deep hurt and offence. Perhaps in the mouth of Anton Du Beke, "Paki" is merely half the word Pakistan, as it is to many who have stormed the talkboards. But in the ear of others, "Paki" is something quite different. It is the word that once rained down in playgrounds or football terraces or streets, and frequently still does in our far-from-civilised society. The stubborn refusal to admit of those historic associations is a tacit perpetuation of them. This is how, long after legislation has addressed the wrongs of the past, one generation still manages to pass the discrimination furtively on to the next.

And though the blackface Jackson 5 insist they meant no harm, intent is only relevant to a degree. Of course, it's nice that they didn't think they were being deliberately racist. But if this was an impersonation, which one was supposed to be Marlon? Which was Jermaine? It was impossible to say. They all looked… oh dear me… exactly the same. Each was covered in identically crude pantomime make-up. This was simple minstrelsy, however "well meaning".

And no, it doesn't cancel it out to say that until 1978, the hideous Black and White Minstrel Show used to air on the BBC, effectively in the Strictly slot. In fact, here are some other simple logical truths the reaction to both incidents has made it oddly necessary to point out. Just because there are worse instances of racism doesn't mean people have to hold their tongues and wait for, say, a solid lynching that we can all agree on. Just because people perceive other countries to be worse doesn't excuse their own. It is possible for non-Anglo-Saxon people to be racist. But just because people have seen Marlon Wayans dress up as a white woman, that doesn't make blackface OK.

Some will always fail to see that blackface or the word "Paki" might be invested with cultural significance far beyond their experience. They will never get why it was wrong for a Golf Channel anchor to joke that young players wanting to take Tiger Woods on "should lynch him in a back alley", where it would have been acceptable had she made the jest about, say, Phil Mickelson. They will see that as Mickelson having been discriminated against. One might refer to it as moral relativism were it not more accurately described as lazy, and occasionally hateful, ignorance.

Most importantly, none of these things are a response to racism. They are ways of not responding to racism. But look at what has happened this week. Anton Du Beke will think twice before ever saying anything again, and the Sydney doctors have issued mea culpas, while Australian papers talk of "global loss of face". The genuinely positive thing about the Saturday TV culture war? We're talking about it.
Posted by Corey Delaney on October 9, 2009 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Still no comment about Robert Downey Jnr. Say no more. You ignore Americans and focus on someone, anyone, else to make you feel better. Back off! Oh and by the way, the link is to a comments page, not an article. You should learn to distinguish fact from opinion. I know its not in UK papers as I bloody well live here! Not American, not Australian, independent observer!
Posted by Independent Observer on October 9, 2009 at 2:37 PM · Report this
'Robert Downey Jnr"

Well, if you had half a brain, you'd realize that was actually commentary about doing blackface. It was satire of blackface. Maybe that's too much of a difference for your brain to absorb after 20 cans of VB but give it a try.
Posted by Corey Delaney on October 9, 2009 at 2:55 PM · Report this
Another Aussie, Stan grant, condemns Hey Hey, explains the history of racist Australian humor:

That the cause of the furor is a childish, inappropriate racial 'joke' is even less of a surprise. Australian popular culture has a long held an often embarrassing tradition of wrapping racism in supposed humor.

Movie star and singer Harry Connick Jr. condemned on air an Australian television skit featuring a group of performers who wore blackface to impersonate the late pop star Michael Jackson and his brothers.

Connick was a judge on the Australian variety show "Hey Hey It's Saturday," when the blackface group "Jackson Jive" performed "Can You Feel It" wearing huge black wigs, blackface and one spangled glove each. The Michael Jackson impersonator wore whiteface.
In the 1950s a popular song lampooned a 'misfit' Aborigine whose 'boomerang won't come back.' Popular entertainer Rolf Harris was even less sensitive in a verse of his song "Tie me kangaroo down sport" proclaiming that on his death one of his friends could free his captive Aborigines: "Let my Abos go loose, they're of no further use, so let my Abos go loose."

A famous Australian illustrator known as Joliffe made his fame and fortune in a long-running cartoon depicting Aborigines as dim-witted, thick browed, naked, creatures from the stone age.

It is not just indigenous Australians who have borne the brunt of these so-called jokes. Watch Connick's reaction to the 'blackface Jacksons' »

After World War II a new wave of immigrants arrived from southern Europe. Australians unused to such foreigners with odd sounding languages and strange smelling food quickly labeled the new comers 'wogs.'

In the 1960s a popular film "They're A Weird Mob" mocked one of these immigrants for his poor English and strange customs. He finally wins approval by marrying his boss' daughter, a good Anglo Aussie, learning to swear and drink copious beers.

There are just a few quick examples -- there are many, many others -- of how Australians use mockery and humor to disguise their discomfort with so-called 'outsiders.'

The use of humor for a long time reflected official government policy that also scorned foreigners and Aborigines.
Australian settlement in the 18th century was rooted in racism. Indigenous Australians were deemed not even to exist.
British law proclaimed the continent Terra Nullius or empty land, extinguishing in an instant tens of thousands of years of Aboriginal occupation and ownership.

Aborigines were dispossessed, often violently, and basic human freedoms, and rights to equal education, employment and welfare benefits denied.

It was not until 1967 -- almost 200 years after European settlement -- that the law was changed to officially count Aborigines in the census as human beings and no longer included amongst the flora and fauna!

For most of the last century Australia pursued a 'White Australia Policy.' It was designed to limit immigration only to those of white skin.

In the first half of the century nearly 80 percent of all immigrants came from the United Kingdom.

Despite being geographically in Asia, Australians generally viewed Asian people with suspicion dubbing them the 'yellow peril.'
In the words of one of the prime ministers of the time Harold Holt "Australia must be kept preponderantly British in its institutions and compositions of its people."

Immigrants, Holt conceded, "offered much" and in return they must simply "become Australian." For many that too often meant being forced to laugh along with jokes at their own expense.

Times though, thankfully, have changed. The 'White Australia Policy' has long been consigned to history. Aborigines have struggled for and won a measure of equality of law and opportunity. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last year apologized to Indigenous Australians for past mistreatment and injustice.

Humor too has changed. A new generation of Australian comics from China, Vietnam, Italy, Greece and Lebanon have turned the tables; laughing at themselves and 'Anglo Aussies.'

Comedian Joe Dolce scored a worldwide hit with his song 'Shaddap-a-your-face' a ditty spoofing his Italian broken English. A Greek-Australian comedy group filled theatres throughout the country with its play 'Wogs Out of Work.'

Humor can be a great leveler. One of Australia's prouder traditions is egalitarianism, a nation where princes and paupers can on a simple human level meet each other as equals.

Humor, in the right spirit pricks our pomposity, makes a virtue of our differences and reveals our common humanity.
The ham-fisted 'Jackson Jive' routine achieved none of that. Appearing in blackface belongs in Australia's own dark past, back there, with the 'White Australia Policy', silly songs about Aborigines and Joliffe cartoons.

Connick was right to give the comedy skit a zero.

Connick's homeland America, is itself not free of racial issues, but in this case it took an American to tell those Aus
Posted by Corey Delaney on October 9, 2009 at 3:15 PM · Report this
All the bogans are out tonight with their fine spelling and grammar......
Posted by Billy Boy on October 9, 2009 at 3:48 PM · Report this
Meet Claire the Bogan: claims "wog" is no longer an offensive word in Australia:
Posted by Billy Boy on October 9, 2009 at 3:57 PM · Report this
As an Australian who generally enjoyed the rest of the show, I was surprised the producers let the act on- above all it wasn't funny or particularly entertaining, and while the intent may not have been to cause offence to other races (allegedly the lead is Indian and claims to have a multicultural backing group) anyone could imagine that it *might* cause offence.

Having said that, for America and the UK to suddenly turn on Australia with accusations of the country being backwards and racist- it's a little like throwing stones in their glass houses. Both these countries are as damaged by racist behaviours and attitudes as any other. The excitement and controversy generated by election of a black President in the US, taken as an indication that a "new age" is beginning, really just shows that race is still a big issue- otherwise he would have been just another man taking office. The US racially profiles at airports for security screening (officially sanctioned racism that probably serves no benefit), and there are still white people who will say the so-called "n word" without batting an eyelid.

The UK's criticism is not surprising. Just as they would generalise that Australia as a whole is stuck 30 years back in time, every white person there seems to protest racism officially, but still quite happily moan about immigration, refugees, the Poles taking their jobs, the Paki shop round the corner etc etc. The British National Party is a great example of a political movement based around racism- but let's not call it that- it's just about being proud to be British isn't it?

Criticism of Australia based on a skit on Hey Hey, and the enthusiastic reception of the audience (hyped up in the spirit of the segment and the return of their favourite show) may be valid in the sense that it highlights acceptance of so-called casual racism. But it doesn't take into account the undercurrent of racism in every country currently criticising Australia, or the balanced view that Australia generally works cohesively. And in terms of the appalling state of Aboriginal affairs here- that doesn't necessarily reflect a racist ideology, but also a cultural nihilism (on both the Aboriginal side and the general population side) that the issues are almost impossible to fix after so many years of bad policy and attitude.
Posted by Interested Australian on October 9, 2009 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Can someone please tell me why Eddie Murphy/David Chappelle, etc can colour their faces and take the piss out of white people, and we dont hear boo?
From this backlash i feel like i should be offended by the "skit", but im not. I just took it as some blokes dressing up as the Jackson 5.
To you Americans u need to understand the average Australian like myself has not studied American history.
The world does not revolve around America.
Posted by bluey on October 9, 2009 at 5:06 PM · Report this
" why Eddie Murphy/David Chappelle, etc can colour their faces and take the piss out of white people, and we dont hear boo?"

Maybe because white people have never been the victims of 300 years of slavery, jim crow, segregation and legalized discrimination at the hands of white people in both the US and Australia. That's why.

Now run along with the other Aussie bogans here and play with your golliwogs.
Posted by Billy Boy on October 9, 2009 at 8:36 PM · Report this
Maybe because white people have never been the victims of 300 years of slavery, jim crow, segregation and legalized discrimination at the hands of BLACK people in both the US and Australia. That's why.
Posted by Billy Boy on October 9, 2009 at 8:37 PM · Report this
I think this little mistake that has become a huge national embarrassment might be what Australia needs to take a fresh look at itself. Hopefully once the 'just a joke' apologists get tired of defending their flimsy positions, they will look at themselves and their behavior with some objectivity.

As an Australian, it's really embarrassing to go overseas knowing that my obnoxious, ignorant alcoholic aggressive fuckwit bogan countrymen and women (but mostly men) have been there before me, pissing the locals off. I'm kind of glad that the international spotlight has been pointed on this section of our society that would try to defend such a bad mistake.

I love Seattle and its people and I want to be able to return without being hated for the behaviour (yes that's how we spell behaviour) of other Australians. One thing about Australians is that a lot of us are not very Nationalistic, and that means that we are more likely to criticise (yes that's how we spell criticise) and decide whether or not we embrace the values we're told are Australian values.

The vocal majority on here and probably other forums defending the skit are most likely the minority of Australians who are actually Nationalistic. Because like I said before, being Nationalistic is not really part of our culture. Most Australians consider flag waving something very American. So when you hear an Aussie go on about how great it is to be an Aussie, and how they think the Aussie culture is the best, these people don't represent most of us. In a way, they are acting like Americans, and are often criticised for this.

Anyway, all I want to say is that on behalf of Australia, I wish to apologise to the rest of the world for all the cock-heads that have come out of Australia. I would hate for us to become America, because your country is fucked up in it's ow way, but I acknowledge that we have a lot to work on in becoming a better society.
Posted by Australia Calling on October 9, 2009 at 10:20 PM · Report this
"it's really embarrassing to go overseas knowing that my obnoxious, ignorant alcoholic aggressive fuckwit bogan countrymen"

Luckily most of them don't get further than Kuta Beach....the Aussies who get beyond the bogan sphere of influence, like Americans on the run, are great folks.
Posted by Roger That on October 9, 2009 at 10:30 PM · Report this
Yes, Australians do things differently. We really are behind the times - we've never assassinated any of our Prime Ministers after all, regardless of what we think of them. Obama's assassination was widely predicted if he became president, because he is black. It seems Americans have forgotten all about the lack of assistance provided to the victims of Hurricane Katrina too. Do you all have selective memories? Yes, in the past white Australians treated Aborgines quite poorly. Again Americans seem to have forgotten about their own history of slavery. In this once again Australians were behind Americans because our slaves, the convicts, were white people - in many cases transported and sentenced to at least 7 years imprisonment for little more than stealing a loaf of bread in order to survive. These days, as has been the case for quite some years, Aboriginals receive a lot of government assistance for housing, education, employment, transport and health that are not available to other ethnic groups. The majority of white Australians were appalled that the last Prime Minister, John Howard, would not apologise for the stolen generation. Many white Australians walked across Sydney Harbor Bridge in support of reconciliation and one of the first acts of our current PM Kevin Rudd was to apologise to the Aborigines for acts committed decades ago before many of us were even born. Australia is one of the most multi-cultural countries in the world and the majority of us like it that way. If people didn't know that they can live a much better life in Australia than in their home country they wouldn't try to come here, after all. It's high time Americans got their facts straight and stopped throwing stones in the glass house. The rest of the world finds your ongoing hypocrisy and preaching rather tiresome.
Posted by down under on October 10, 2009 at 3:18 PM · Report this
" Australia is one of the most multi-cultural countries in the world"

No it's not, it's 92% white. The US is far more multicultural that ANY western country, only 66% white and in 20 yrs will only be 50% white at current trends. Australia is the whitest place I've ever visited and the only place where people asked if my 3rd generation Chinese-American wife was a 'Jappo', 'Jap' and in Darwin, a 'chink'. Charming.

Now run along, the bogans are calling you home mate.
Posted by corey delaney on October 10, 2009 at 3:23 PM · Report this
by doginamanger 9 October 2009

The embarrassing immaturity of Australia’s racial understanding was brought to the fore once again by an appalling skit performed on the reunion episode of that Australian bastion of tasteless juvenility, ‘Hey Hey, it’s Saturday’.
A poor and misguided semblance of a debate has been evoked, typically avoiding all of the pertinent questions that such an opportunity affords and focussing squarely on the irrelevant question: “how sensitive is too sensitive?”
The issue, however, is not sensitivity but whether we, as a culture, truly understand the implications of the concept of race and the extent to which it psychologically and practically affects those of us whose identity is irrevocably caught up and categorised in its merciless web.
American activist, Angela Davis once remarked that “racism is a much more clandestine, much more hidden kind of phenomenon, but at the same time it's perhaps far more terrible than it's ever been.”

The institutionalised and exclusionary attitudes toward race and the concept of “Australianism” prevalent in Australian society and the unwillingness of Australian culture to recognise these problems, let alone attempt to solve them, begets the enormous challenge that Australia must meet.

With this in mind, the reduction of four (once) talented African-American performers to black shoe-polish, afro wigs and gyrating hips is objectively racist, regardless of the cultural setting or the sensitivities of an audience. In “impersonating” the Jackson 5, absolutely no effort was made to take on the characteristics, either physically or otherwise, of the individual Jackson brothers In fact, I would be surprised if any of the performers could identify which black-faced “piccaninny” was supposed to represent which Jackson brother (save the white-faced Michael). Indeed, to call the performance an “impersonation” would be a dangerous misnomer. It was the slap-stick equivalent of saying “all black people look the same”. The “impersonation” was reduced to a mindless and crude stereotype. It would be akin to a person colouring himself brown, holding chopsticks, mixing his “l”s and“r’s”, repeating “ah-so” and claiming he was impersonating Bruce Lee, or a person donning a large nose, crooked teeth, with dollar signs for eyes and claiming he was impersonating Jerry Seinfeld.

I wrote about the offensiveness of the “darky” iconography in a previous article about the sale of “gollywog” dolls in Australia (The Unfortunate History of the Gollywog) so I won’t repeat it here.

The excuse, touted in many circles, that “our comedy is different to yours” and that it was simply a misunderstanding based on differing cultures, is no excuse at all. The “performers” used (albeit perhaps unwittingly) the uniquely American “darkie” iconography of woolly wigs and shoe-polished faces to lampoon quintessentially American entertainers. To then turn around and say that it is justified because we are not American is self-evidently ludicrous and nonsensical.

The other excuse that has been making the rounds is that they did not intend to be racist. This, if anything, is only a reason to forgive the performers’ errors of judgement and accept their seemingly genuine apology, but it does not change the nature of the performance. Contrary to many people’s belief and as a matter of common sense, one need not intend to be racist to, in fact, be racist.

The lead buffoon in this farcical display was an Australian of Indian descent. This fact has also been used as an excuse by many (the individual concerned included), as though the inclusion of a non-white in the skit somehow absolves the performance from accusations of racism. This type of ridiculous logic is, in this case, all the more ridiculous as the pleader in question was of an entirely different race and ethnicity to those he and his fellow “performers” lampooned.

“But it was funny”, begins another excuse. Whilst this is a matter of personal taste (or lack thereof) it is again irrelevant to the issue of whether the skit was racist. Some of the moments in film and television history considered to be the funniest have indeed also been overtly racist. The two are by no means mutually exclusive.

The show in question, ‘Hey Hey It’s Saturday’, has a long history of unapologetic racist, sexist and homophobic “humour”. In the middle of the segment in question, a cutaway to the in-house cartoonist revealed a card with the words “Where’s Kamahl?” written on it. Kamahl, an Australian entertainer of Tamil origin, appeared regularly on the show and was the smiling victim of many of the show’s racist taunts disguised as innocent humour, which the simpleton audience lapped up hungrily.

What, you may ask, does an entertainer of Tamil origin have to do with a skit lampooning African Americans? Sadly, the humour is as uninspired as it is offensive. Another case of “all ‘black’ people look the same”?

In much of the press both internationally and here at home there has been a tendency to characterise this awful skit as being acceptable to Australians and the discussion centres on an attempt to justify why Australians may not find this type of humour racist or offensive.

Let me assure you on behalf of my countrymen, that all of the progressive and intelligent, forward-thinking Australians that I know do find this humour racist and offensive. My hope is that the commentators and bloggers (and sadly, prominent politicians) that have defended this nonsense address their own ignorance and begin to understand the implications of reducing people to one-dimensional caricatures of their racial otherness.
Posted by Bogan Nation on October 10, 2009 at 3:39 PM · Report this
@144 here here.
Great post. Best response from an Australian I've heard on this issue so far. Well said. Especially " reducing people to one-dimensional caricatures of their racial otherness."
Posted by Australia calling on October 10, 2009 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Get off your sanctimonious soapboxes, America. Australia doesn't have war vets forced to live under cardboard boxes in back alleys. We don't nail government census collectors to trees with FED carved into their chest. We don't have schoolyard massacres because some kid got an F. When your country is perfect then you can get offended by what other countries do. Until then, piss off
Posted by Another Proud Aussie on October 10, 2009 at 5:30 PM · Report this
Corey Delaney you are so ignorant I'm surprised you're even aware there is a world outside the United States. There are many different cultures with white skin. No wonder Americans don't seem to have any trouble p!ssing off Muslims. The United States is also not the only country where the white population is shrinking and other coloured skins are increasing in number.
Posted by down under on October 10, 2009 at 7:50 PM · Report this
Another Proud Aussie - Australia also doesn't have terrorists flying jets into our buildings.
Posted by down under on October 10, 2009 at 7:55 PM · Report this
It's so hard to watch all the 'proud aussie' types publicly digging themselves deeper and deeper graves on this board. It's hard to watch people cling so desperately a loyalty to their own ignorance.

I mean, what has the fact that the US isn't perfect got to do with this discussion about the Australian skit in question? the idea that a whole country has to become perfect before any of its citizens have the right to criticise another country is ridiculous.

'Proud Aussie,' you do you even know the individuals you're talking to on here are? Do you have any evidence that the Americans criticising the 'blackface' skit are uncritical of their own country's social problems as well?

You need to learn to separate the individual from the country. An attack on Australian racism isn't an attack on you personally, unless you have unquestioningly adopted all cultural traits posing as 'Australian' as your own. The more 'proud aussies' post on this thread, the more painful it gets to read.

Posted by Australia calling on October 10, 2009 at 9:24 PM · Report this
While waiting to finalise their Australian residental status, two Afghanistani men start chatting. As they part, they agree to meet in a years time and see who has adapted better to the Australian way of life.

True to their word, they meet after the year is up. The first says to the second "We have integrated so well...yesterday, I ate a meat pie and drank a VB while watching my son play Aussie rules"

The second man replies "F**k off, towelhead"
Posted by Tedddie on October 10, 2009 at 9:26 PM · Report this
"Another Proud Aussie - Australia also doesn't have terrorists flying jets into our buildings."

You know you're arguing with some of the most left wing Americans on Slog, from Seattle, one of the most left wing cities in America, right? Probably one of the most anti-Bush cities in the US? Do you know that Mr Bogan?
Posted by Finger my Fois on October 10, 2009 at 9:32 PM · Report this
"Do you know that Mr Bogan?"

The fact that you're calling me a bogan only highlights your own ignorance and hypocrisy. Again. Sigh.

"Do you have any evidence that the Americans criticising the 'blackface' skit are uncritical of their own country's social problems as well? "

Do you have any evidence that the Proud Aussies typing here are uncritical of their country's social problems? Personally I think the skit was not funny and I consider it poor taste for reasons other than racism. I don't support racism at all. I did not consider the skit to be mocking a race. I doubt the producers of the show did either, since it is illegal in Australia.
Posted by down under on October 10, 2009 at 10:19 PM · Report this
No it's not, it's 92% white. The US is far more multicultural that ANY western country, only 66% white and in 20 yrs will only be 50% white at current trends.

..Posted by corey delaney
LOL another typical ignorant and stupid American who defines race/ethnicity by skin colour.

This sums up this whole issue for mine. Americans judging Australia by their own narrowminded ignorant views of what is race while the racial legacy of US history is on full display in how they still pigeon hole people into "white", "black" and "hispanic" categories.

Btw 24% of Australians were born overseas. Melbourne alone (35% born OS) has residents from 233 countries, with 180 different languages/dialects and 116 faiths. But hey don't let facts get in the way Corey.
Posted by Proud Australian on October 11, 2009 at 12:42 AM · Report this
Quoting Australia calling,

"Big fat countries like ours have inland people, and coastal people. Country hicks, and educated city folk. We have less cities, and a lot of country. That bumps up our hick quota. But we also have educated people. The ignorant and proud of it culture we have here is sticking around like a bad smell, but our government does pay for some of our education, so that helps reduce the hick factor. So please don't hate all of us when we come to visit you. Most Aussies are idiots, but a few of us are ok."

I hope you're not including yourself as one of the Australians who is 'ok'. Claiming that people from the country are hicks and people from the city are educated is a pretty ordinary thing to say.

Again quoting Australia calling

"The more 'proud aussies' post on this thread, the more painful it gets to read."

I'd say it's more painful to read people like yourself making uninformed generalisations about others and their level of education. You clearly think that you are above other groups of people (those from the country, or 'inland people' as you put it, for instance). Take yourself down a few notches, remove your ignorant head from your arse and stop congratulating yourself for being so amazing; you're not.

Posted by Oz on October 11, 2009 at 3:04 AM · Report this
Corey Delany 132 - I'm English and we don't drink VB over here. You have a go at the Australians for the way they treated your wife, that was only a couple of incidents ans i'm assuming you spent more than 3 days there, what about everyone else?

What about the Americans that were sitting beside me in Bruges back at the end of May who were critising the fact that all the menus were written in four languages, but no burgers were on the menu? Who would start shouting at the waiter while he was serving another table? Or the Americans in Paris in April who were told there were no tables available and offered the waiter money, told no tables were available and called them everything under the sun, most of it non-complimentry.

Or the ones on the Tube in London who turn around and said nice butt out loud and then whistled at the poor gentleman? Or ... the list goes on about the arrogant nature of the Americans who act superior to all those around them.

Racism must have intent, if they don't believe the race is inferior then they are not racist, you are putting your own thoughts feelings and experiences onto someone else and their actions. They don't believe they are superior and are therefore not racist, poor taste, bad joke - yes, racist no.

And aren't you yourself being racist by calling Australians bogan (what ever that means) and calling them other various names? You are showing intent when you are putting down the Australian race (a mainly white race maybe) but a race nonetheless.

You small minded racist bigot!
Posted by Independent Observer on October 11, 2009 at 6:34 AM · Report this
Australia also doesn't have terrorists flying jets into our buildings.

No, they kill Aussies in their natural environment…a bar in Bali.
Posted by corey Delaney on October 11, 2009 at 7:00 AM · Report this
"Australia also doesn't have terrorists flying jets into our buildings."

No, they kill Aussies in their natural environment…a bar in Bali.
Posted by Corey Delaney on October 11, 2009 at 7:01 AM · Report this
Natural environment? Natural environment? Seems to me you also fail at geography Corey Delaney. Bali is in Indonesia, not Australia. Still no comment about you, yourself being racist towards Australians. You know what, I'm glad you don't like Australia, it means one less American to deal with when I travel there next. Is there anything we English can do to stop you from coming over here as well?
Posted by Independent Observer on October 11, 2009 at 10:20 AM · Report this
@144 - thank you for that. A thoughtful post that addresses so many of the distracting irrelevancies. Well said indeed. I don't know why I was still following the responses here but I'm glad to have a little bit of my faith in human nature restored.

I had earlier defended the show against charges of overt racism though that seems less plausible now. Somehow I'd missed the cartoon sketch the first time through, and after hearing about Kamahl's previous experiences and reading that the performers themselves, so they claim, had raised the possibilty that the skit might be considered inappropriate only to be overruled by the producers, I realise it's impossible to accept the argument that this was just harmless, innocent fun. In retrospect, it was always implausible to maintain that people who had worked in entertainment for up to four decades could be so culturally ignorant. They knew it could offend, and why, and they didn't care.

Well, so what? The sun comes up tomorrow as usual and life goes on while we all find something else to talk about. This was a forgettable moment on a trivially unimportant show. The deep, ingrained and systemic problems associated with race and otherness in this country that this episode has brought to light will remain. They won't simply evaporate over time as I used to hope. As long as we focus on irrelevancies and dodge the hard questions nothing at all will change. In the meantime though, thanks again to the random voice of reason behind post #144. For what it's worth, I wish I had your optimism.
Posted by Humbug on October 11, 2009 at 2:00 PM · Report this
" Bali is in Indonesia, not Australia. "

I guess you haven't spent much time in Kuta Beach mate.....cuz if ya had, ya'd know Bali's knee deep in bogans.
Posted by Sheep Shagger on October 11, 2009 at 5:34 PM · Report this
""Harry Connick, Jr. on MadTV - Preachers Skit""

Yeah, he's playing the part of a white southern preacher you half wit......without blackface. I know some Australians can be dumber than a bag of bricks but please, try to use the non-VB parts of your brains you bloody bogans.
Posted by Corey Delaney on October 11, 2009 at 8:47 PM · Report this

Corey you seem to be here just to bag Australians. Whats up? Those statistics you gave earlier were obviously pulled out of your arse cos that is not even close.
92% white? Are people with Greek/Lebanese/Italian in your view classed as white? We dont generalise like yourself with black and white.
Get your facts right you imbecile.
Posted by bluey on October 11, 2009 at 10:04 PM · Report this
Bluey on the last Census it was listed as 92% white Australians. The thing is both of you are confusing white with being native English speaking Australians. Australia has a large European population who are white, but are only first or second generation and therefore do not speak English at home. I seem to find most people here severly biased which will make an idiot of them all.

By the way Corey Delaney, still no comment on you being racist or ways that we English can prevent you lot from wanting to come over. Your help would be appreciated so that I can enjoy my country without you lot being loud rude and crude (oh and before you call me racist 7 of my best friends are American and all of them are embarressed by people like yourself).
Posted by Independent Observer on October 12, 2009 at 12:17 PM · Report this
I had a look at the ABS site and there's no "white" category I saw in the census. In fact I would expect uproar here if there was.

In Australian history especially pre-WWII, "white" meant Anglo-Saxon/Celt ethnicity; not mainland European. The mass European migration after WWII began with Italians, Greeks and other Southern Europeans but they were hardly seen as "white" with a natural olive Mediterranean complexion.

Since WWII Australia has had a number of mass migration waves which has created the multicultural country and society it is today. After the Europeans came Asians, Middle Easterns and more recently Africans. Over the past year migrants to Australia corresponded to an additional 1% of our population.

I should also add that unlike in the UK, people from the Indian subcontinent aren't called Asians in Australia. Asian refers to East Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, etc).

Every country's culture and history is different which is something the dopey Americans posting here can't seem to comprehend. It's amusing on wikipedia that the US demographic page lists white and black categories yet the Australian page just lists the various specific nationalities. Skin colour is still Uncle Sam's definition of race as it has always been.
Posted by Proud Australian on October 13, 2009 at 12:37 AM · Report this
The ABS actually does have this information, just not available unless a recognised authority with the ability to pay for it. Try these resources for a reality check.……

You know what Proud Australian, I know what I'm talking about. I may be in the UK but I have lived in Australia for many years and know that Asian refers to South Pacific Asians and that Australia and Asia is Australasia not Oceania. Wikipedia is written by people like you and me and even (scarily enough Corey Delany) not by paid professionals, you'd be amazed what you can get on there for a period of time. Fiction not fact.
Posted by Independent Observer on October 14, 2009 at 12:43 PM · Report this
I could not care less what Wikipedia says about Australia. All i know is that in my final year in high school (in Bondi may i add) there were 160 students,
giving or taking a couple:
10 born overseas
25 2nd or 3rd generation Chinese
20 2nd or 3rd gereration Italian
20 2nd or 3rd gereration Greek
1 2nd gereration Lebanese (my best mate)
5 2nd generation Eatern Europeans
To me, they are all Australian and i dont care if they speak Hindu at home and if they are black/white/yellow or bright pink. I

Posted by bluey on October 14, 2009 at 2:10 PM · Report this
You arrogant twat! I taught in Brisbane at a school where I had 28 students with 26 languages at home, non of which was English. I damn well know the make up as I taught in Australia for 3 1/2 years! I have Australian relatives and visit them every couple of years. You're just reacting to the fact that you have been pulled up, not once but twice, by somebody. Grow up, you give Australians a bad name.

PS, its 'might I add, not may I add' go back to school and learn English yourself, because if its may - then no, you can't add it. You know there's two parts of Bondi, both have the same problem, one has a sewerage pipe and the other half have their heads up their arse, either way the fumes must have gotten to you.
Posted by Independent Observer on October 14, 2009 at 2:30 PM · Report this

Nice joke(i havent heard it b4). I know where i would rather be living though.
I like how you have changed this whole debate from 5 blokes dressing up as the Jackson 5 into a grammar test.
And you know what? I dont even know the point you are trying to make in regards to Harry's Blackface. You lost me with all of your "ive done this" and "i know that" dribble.
Posted by bluey on October 14, 2009 at 3:30 PM · Report this
" if they speak Hindu at home"

Spoken like a true Aussie....

Pretty funny in Australia, Italians, Greeks and Eastern Europeans are not considered white, just wogs I guess. See in America, they are all considered caucasians, racially no different than Northern Europeans or Anglo Saxons, so using that standard Australia is 92% white. If we use the Aussie standard, the US goes from 62% white, to 42% white.

THe baby ate my dingo!
Posted by Corey Delaney on October 14, 2009 at 4:07 PM · Report this
I'll spell it out for you, since your IQ seems to be your shoe size. We were arguing with Corey Delaney about the racial profile of Australia. You claimed it wasn't 92%, I was proving it was. However, when doing this profile it doesn't actually look at ethnicity only skin colour. For people like Corey Delaney to keep harping on about colour means he is probably a closet racist, but the fact that he keeps putting Australians down proves he is a racist. Blackface is only racist in context, in an Australian context where this has not been an issue, its other peoples perception that is making it seem racist. Just the other day a French fashion magazine had white models paint themselves black for a photo shoot, again not the same context as the Americans and not considered racist. But having said all that, it imitation supposed to be the strongest form of flattery? In which case it definately isn't racist.
Posted by Independent Observer on October 15, 2009 at 1:22 PM · Report this

Dumb fuckin' americans, all living in denial.

So we are racists are we? I can tell you a mixed race couple would never have any dramas getting a marriage licence in this country based on the colour of their skin. I would know I'm of half Irish (6th generation Australian) and half Italian decent, whilst my wife is half Filipina and half English (5th generation Australian).
Posted by josho on October 15, 2009 at 9:51 PM · Report this
Americans think that their own country is so perfect, you have millions of people that still hate blacks and you think that you have changed just because you have a black president, think about it you guys have the biggest group of Klu klux klan (excuse me if i don't spell it right as we don't have that in Australia) in the world. Yes we treated our indigenous population bad, i'm sorry but that was 200 years ago and even though they have worse living conditions our current prime minister is doing a lot to change that. also thing about the hundreds of years that the African Americans were oppressed for in your country. I know that there have been several points about this before but it is the Australian way of life, not to make fun of different cultures or races but to jokingly make fun about other people without any intention of actually, intentionally offend them. In addition while the joke was meant to be harmless there is a large percentage of Australians that did not find that part of the show even remotely humorous. At the school that i went to about half were Caucasian, the rest were not and no one even pointed out this fact. Australians embrace culture and different ways of life. Now stop generalizing all Australians as racist, yes there are some, just as there are some in America and furthermore what you are doing to Australians with your comments is doing the same thing you are criticizing them for.
Posted by Frostie on October 19, 2009 at 4:55 PM · Report this
You wanna know something? remember the black power salute in the 1968 olympics where the two african american sprinters each raised a fist in the air on the podium? well do you know who the third man on the podium was? his name was Peter Norman - an aussie, he had supported them in their stand because no 1 else would, he was banned from the olympic games and was stripped of his medal because of it. No one in the US would even know his name.

And about this hey hey joke, that everyone thinks so offensive, you yanks always make jokes about "dingo got my baby" when a woman's child had been killed by dingos and even when this joke is far more offensive and has been mentioned in several popular movies, there is no outcry by aussies at all because we know its a joke.

Also how many wars have we actually been involved in where we had a reason to be there other than to help out the U.S or the U.K? America on the other hand starts wars with other countries left right and centre.

take a poll of what country is more popular U.S.A or australia that is open to all countries beside Aus and U.S and see who wins you ignorant pricks!!!!
Posted by Aussie 4 Life on October 19, 2009 at 7:04 PM · Report this
The ABS actually does have this information, just not available unless a recognised authority with the ability to pay for it. Try these resources for a reality check.……

You know what Proud Australian, I know what I'm talking about. I may be in the UK but I have lived in Australia for many years and know that Asian refers to South Pacific Asians and that Australia and Asia is Australasia not Oceania. Wikipedia is written by people like you and me and even (scarily enough Corey Delany) not by paid professionals, you'd be amazed what you can get on there for a period of time. Fiction not fact.

Both those links access that info from the same source (CIA) which is American. Sorry I have access to the ABS demographic data and there is no mention of "92% white". I live in Australia (Melbourne) and can tell you if anyone or any organisation said publicly Australia is 92% "white" they would be howled down as racist. Pauline Hanson tried that rubbish feeding off fear but now virtually everyone sees she was and is just after a freebie income off taxpayers from the 4% of idiots who still vote for her to give her her financial quota of votes. She is not only a bigot but also a con merchant and a convicted criminal.

As for wikipedia - yes anybody can modify the text. That's the point. Americans like Corey list their country demographics in terms of skin colour. Australians didn't with theirs.

Btw Japan, Korea and China are on the North Pacific rim.
Posted by Proud Australian on October 20, 2009 at 8:29 AM · Report this

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