Poor taste or racist ?

Charlie - posted on 10/07/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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This clip off a popular variety show in Australia was slammed as racist and insensitive by many across the world and deeply offended one judge , Harry Conick Jnr .

The host later apologized for the skitt to Harry , Harry said if he had known that was going to be on the show he would never have agreed to be apart of it .

What are your views on this skitt ? was it just poor taste , or racist and why ?

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Charlie - posted on 10/08/2009

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I don't think the men who participated in this are racist , i don't think Darryl sommers is a racist , it was all bad taste and a little ignorance on their behalf.
The good thing is people are talking about it , i hope more people are aware of " black face " and it's history and hopefully will be a little more sensitive to other peoples pain .
We , as humans are becoming more aware of our surroundings in it's past, present and future , i experienced a lot of Racism at school in both high school and primary school and my child who is also " colored " will be heading off to school someday too , i hope people will have evolved past their current sense of "humor" so that my son can lead a normal life without hate and prejudice .
Racism isn't a joke and shouldn't be accepted as a joke , For the small amount of people who laugh a whole race hurts .

JL - posted on 10/08/2009

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I don't think it was intended to be racist but the use of "black face" which has a long racist history to it in America was very inappropriate and is something that should not be taken lightly. If "black face" is to be used it should be done in a way that points out the ridiculous racist stereotypes while overriding the historical racist identity that comes with it. When Robert Downey Jr. used black face in Tropic Thunder the character was used to point out racism and stomp it out in an informative and comedic role. In this instance it was not being used as a way to point out racism in a funny and informative way which is why it comes off as being offensive and in poor taste. Plus they just sucked and even if they had not used "black face" it would have been a crappy act. They failed miserably at being funny. Harry Connick Jr. who is still hot conducted himself very well under the circumstances.

Charlie - posted on 10/07/2009

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I think perhaps people in Australia know little about the history of " black face " comedy and racist portrayals of African American people .

This has basically been eliminated because of the stereotyping and prejudice involved in the " art " .



It's the History involved that makes this controversial , on a world wide scale it's insensitive to a whole race of people .



To me it's more about the acceptance of racism as a " joke " it's a slippery slope backwards when the world has come so far in past decade .

Just as it wasn't funny when prince Harry dressed as Hitler because it was a big slap in the face to the Jewish community , Yeah it was a Joke but an insensitive one due to it's history , the " black face " comedy stunt is offensive to the African American community due to it's history .

Charlie - posted on 10/07/2009

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I see how they were trying to be humorous although i didn't find it funny and i know it wasn't their intention to hurt anyone but what has got me thinking is the use of "Black face" comedy which was clearly a racist and derogatory use of comedy in its hey day , it is now seen and known as not acceptable all over the world and the backlash that has occurred .

It's the retaliation by Australians who condone this and say things such as " oh it was a joke lighten up " are making light of a serious racial issue , while its a joke to some it deeply hurts those who have been affected by racism .

If i make a Jewish slur or say something terribly racist about an indigenous Australian and laugh at the end is it still a joke ? NO , i don't think laughter should be used as a shield for people to be racist , derogatory , and insensitive to other peoples pain .



I think it shows a true underlying racist streak in some people to laugh off what is obviously a painful part of history .

Jodi - posted on 10/07/2009

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It was funny the first time (I remember it, am I showing my age???), but I have been watching it the last couple of weeks, and am not finding the show as funny as it used to be. They really are using the same jokes they used in the 80s, and I think it will get a bit tired (and is the real reason they canned it in the first place).



With regard to the skit itself, I don't believe it was racist. I don't even think they intended poor taste. I think they just tried to reinvent something they did previously. I can understand why Harry Conick Junior may have been offended. I always remember with Red Faces years ago, they would have international guests all the time, and they were never briefed on what Red Faces was about, and were always shocked! I think they wondered what they got themselves into. That hasn't changed.



Unfortunate, but it is basically what Red Faces was all about. It was meant to be funny/clever, but it backfired.



I loved the Vegemite Kid last week :) Just glad I wasn't his mother!!

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Jodi - posted on 10/08/2009

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I think the issue is, that this is a program they are trying to bring back on TV after (????) years. It was an absolute Australian icon since the 70s, and then disappeared, and it looks like (as my hubby put it) a retirement gig for a lot of the guys that are regulars on the show, LOL.



Anyway, what they have done with Red Faces, is tried to bring back a number of the favourite acts from the 80's. This was one of them. In the 80's this WAS funny. Now it isn't. There was no racist intention.



However, I did watch Sunrise program (one of our morning shows here) this morning, and there was an interesting email from an Aboriginal woman. She commented on the fact that she remembered the act from 20 years ago, and she remembered because the next day, because she was "black" she was ridiculed, and made fun of. She commented how she now has her own children, and hoped, that following that performance, kids at school wouldn't make fun of her own children.......

Jodi - posted on 10/08/2009

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Quoting Kylie:

I watch good News Week Jodi..most shows i look over to my husband and say "they can't say that!!" They make fun of everything and Paul Mcdermot says a lot of racist things but he seems to get away with because it's funny or witty.



That's what I mean.  This particular skit was in bad taste and was supposed to be funny but backfired because it wasn't.  Good News Week is the most politically incorrect show on TV, and they get away with anything.  I've heard some of the most racist stuff on there (and many other pokitically incorrect jokes), but it IS funny and nobody is calling for their balls to be hung up!!  I'll be perfectly honest, I LOVE Good News Week.  But I just think the media has gone overboard on reporting this skit on Hey Hey as racist because it was never the intention.  Good News week INTENDS to be that way!!

Tracy - posted on 10/07/2009

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I feel it was in bad taste, specially now. I don't think they ment for it to be racist. The singer was an Indian man with his face painted white, and five of the six of men come from multicultural backgrounds. Red Faces is not a talent show, its ment to be stupid and funny. Just not in this instance. Bring back the vegemite boy....that was funny!

Kylie - posted on 10/07/2009

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I watch good News Week Jodi..most shows i look over to my husband and say "they can't say that!!" They make fun of everything and Paul Mcdermot says a lot of racist things but he seems to get away with because it's funny or witty.

?? - posted on 10/07/2009

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Oh wow - shame on them for doing it anyways then. That doesn't excuse it at all, producers or not, if you know there are concerns and bring them forth they shouldn't be going forth with it... that's even more stupid.

Jodi - posted on 10/07/2009

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Actually, it turns out the group of doctors involved raised this issue with the producers of the show before they agreed to come back on. And the producers ignored the issues that were raised and decided it was ok. So it really isn't the fault of the guys who performed the skit. They had their concerns too, but were told it wouldn't be an issue.

?? - posted on 10/07/2009

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GREAT CHOREOGRAPHY?!?!?! Hell no. They SUCKED !!!



I don't think it would have been a big deal if they had just went out without the black face paint and did that skit but the black face paint made it offensive. A white guy can dress up as Michael Jackson and it be a 'joke" without needing the face paint. Just like a black chick can dress up like Pamela Anderson and it be a "joke" and it's A LOT funnier if they just keep the skin color out of it all. The only thing offensive about it is the fact that they did that and anyone who is putting themselves out there (especially a bunch of DOCTORS) should have the smarts to really learn the history behind their act before they put themselves out.



It's not racist it's just plain stupidity.



Harry Connick Jr, he said what needed to be said there - but he's also done/said his fair share of things in bad taste. He was on Will & Grace as Grace's husband. I can remember thinkin a lot of crap they said on that show was in bad taste but many people found that show to be hilarious. (It had it's moments.)

Jodi - posted on 10/07/2009

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Quoting Erin:
And I think Harry Conick Jr handled himself admirably. He didn't overreact. He didn't get up in arms. He just expressed the fact that it made him uncomfortable and that it would not be tolerated on American tv.


 



Yeah, but when I was over there about 10 years ago, the word "shit" was bleeped from Dirty Dancing in adult viewing hours :)



Anyone here watch Good News Week?

Jodi - posted on 10/07/2009

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Loureen, I went to my son's musical at the end of the term. Each class had the task of performing and putting on some theatricals. Quite a number of the Indian kids (dark skinned), put on black Michael Jackson wigs, a white glove, and pulled a few cute stunts. Okay, they didn't paint their faces, they didn't need to. But it was funny. Is it also racist? Or is it only racist when they paint their faces? And if a dark skinned person paints their face white and does a parody of Michael Jackson, is that also considered racist?

Ez - posted on 10/07/2009

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I didn't watch the show - I hate Darryl Sommers with a passion - but I think it was just lame and in poor taste. I don't think it was overtly racist. I don't think they were trying to take the piss of the Jackson Five's skin colour. I think it was just an old skit that went down well 20 years ago, but not so well now.

And I think Harry Conick Jr handled himself admirably. He didn't overreact. He didn't get up in arms. He just expressed the fact that it made him uncomfortable and that it would not be tolerated on American tv.

Kylie - posted on 10/07/2009

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That was stupid, not funny at all, of all the acts they could have chosen from to be on redfaces, they chose that.... it might have been funny 20 years ago but yeh don't know if it was racist but definitely poor taste. what was the point? i didn't watch hey hey last night ..I'm glad i didn't. Idiots.

Jeannette - posted on 10/07/2009

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I think it was poor taste. I don't see why they would pay tribute to someone they hate. I think they were trying to be funny.

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