"In America, it would be like 'Hey, Hey, There's No More Show"
October 8, 2009 3:42 PM Subscribe
posted by barnacles (216 comments total)
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Australian television show "Hey Hey It's Saturday" is currently back on the air after a few decades, running a series of reunion shows, and the other night a group that had been on the show in the 80s came back with the same act, in blackface.
Harry Connick, Jr., who was a guest judge on the show, was unequivocal
in denouncing the act, saying (after an apology from the show's host):
just want to say, on behalf of my country, I know it was done humorously, but we've spent so much time trying to not make black people look like buffoons, that when we see something like that we take it really to heart.
While American news outlets
have been roundly condemned the skit, not all Australians seem
to realize the offense
taken at it. Some
certainly have, and ex-regular Kamahl
has gone so far as to say the show was always racist.
Meanwhile, the performers have attempted to explain
why they did the act, saying that when they did it at a Medical Revue a few months back, no one complained. And what's more, that it couldn't have been racist because one of the team was Indian.
Is the tolerance of blackface on a national TV broadcast indicative of a deeper trouble with racism that has yet to be explored in Australian society, or is it, as many bloggers and commenters point out, not an issue because white portrayals of African Americans is an American issue?