Hey Hey! That’s Raci… Oh, actually maybe it’s not.

Last year there were a number of occasions when the Australian sense of “humour” raised hackles in the USA and led to a large amount of international media comment on endemic Australian racism. We blogged about a couple of those awkward humour moments in 2009, here at Continue reading

Are you offended? Is that the point?

Just over a week ago, I got a call from the BBC. A producer from the show World Have Your Say had read our post on the Hey Hey Reunion blackface skit “scandal” and wanted to know if I would Continue reading

I’m not racist but… I won’t marry you?!?!?

I was working on the latest Cocktail Time post when I took a sip of coffee and flicked around the news sites.

“Flying boy found” – Right oh…

“Berlusconi anoints Blair as his choice for European President” – Hmm, may come back to that.

“Interracial couple denied marriage licence by Louisiana J.P.” – WHAT?!?!

Associated Press are the ones breaking this story about Keith Bardwell, Justice of the Peace in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana who has refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple out of concern Continue reading

Hey Hey, What’s Racist?

Seems like the producers of the Hey Hey Reunion, aired on Australia’s Channel Nine last night, haven’t been reading this blog recently. Only a week ago, we were looking at the anachronistic and boorish humour of Silvio Berlusconi as he joked about Barack Obama’s skin colour and we pointed out it wasn’t in our too distant cultural past that lame, vaguely racist material such as that was mainstream entertainment fare. To illustrate our point, we showed a clip from The Black and White Minstrel Show, which was canned in the UK in 1978 after nearly a decade of complaints.

After last night, it appears that similar material may still count as mainstream entertainment in Australia. Hey Hey Reunion included this amateur “tribute” act…

The most striking thing about watching it was how host Daryl Somers appeared utterly clueless as to why guest judge Harry Connick Jr didn’t seem to like it

And it is Somers’ inability to see what may or may not be wrong about the act that inspired the title of this post. Message boards and blogs around the world have been set ablaze with opinion being swiftly corralled in two opposing camps.

Camp One: This is racist, anachronistic tripe and should never have made it on air.

Camp Two: It was entertainment in the grand, Australian, take-the-piss-out-of-everything tradition and the PC brigade are going bonkers over nothing. Besides two of the Jackson Jive are Indian and one is Lebanese.

So which camp are you in?

Additional Note: While the debate will, no doubt, rage on, it seems Daryl Somers own Berlusconi-esque moment has gone unnoticed. Check out his last line after each performer announces their current profession.

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Dinosaur – Why “Papa” Berlusconi makes us squirm

He’s a patrician politician of the Old School.

And by “Old School” we mean; corrupt, dictatorial, a keen fan of cronyism, chauvinistic and, yes, a little bit racist.

Continue reading