Thursday, October 08, 2009

What Do You Think?

I finally found the time this morning to watch the Australian program "Hey Hey It's Saturday" and the group of performers on the show who performed in blackface as a tribute to Michael Jackson. This whole incident probably would have been ignored if Harry Connick Jr., wasn't a guest host on the Gong Show styled program. After giving the group a zero for a score, Harry said that if he had known the group was going to be on the show he wouldn't have agreed to be a judge.

Harry said and did the right things. The host of the program apologized to people who were offended by the skit and the performers in the group also apologized. The leader of the group is East Indian and justified his performance by stating since he was East Indian and other members of the group were multi-racial that it was ok. No, it isn't. Just because you are a minority doesn't mean you get a pass from being racist or that it is ok. I hate that excuse. Yes, you know what it is probably like to be discriminated against and therefore you should know what it feels like to be on the end of it and really make an effort not to do it to other minorities. If you haven't seen the video it is below.

41 comments:

Ms Cool said...

I could not watch more than a few seconds of that atrocity.

Alice D Millionaire said...

People are saying that HC Jr is a hypocrite bc he did a skit for Mad TV where he lampooned a black reverend. I didn’t think the skit was nearly as offensive as the black face but that is just me. Curious to see what you guys think.

Alice D Millionaire said...

Here is the link to the Mad TC skit:

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/entertainment/873091/harry-connick-jr-impersonated-black-preacher

.robert said...

They tell me that sitting with your legs crossed and the sole of you shoe pointed at an Arab is highly offensive. But I just don't get it and would have to constantly watch out after that if I were around them and then just forget and do it anyway.

What I mean is being told it is offensive and actually understanding and being able to empathize with it can be very different things.

Pookie said...

"Just because you are a minority doesn't mean you get a pass from being racist or that it is ok. I hate that excuse."

^i'm so standing up and applauding this statement. thank you, enty!!!

SkittleKitty said...

Considering Australia's (well, the British settlers') history with the native people of the country/continent, it doesn't surprise me that there is still this much insensitivity there. Disappointing, though.

Anyone else seen "Rabbit-Proof Fence"?

.robert said...

I preferred the Selleck one.

AlexT said...

Wow, wtf. So, in Australia people are still down with black face routines? O_O

Then again, it's too bad that those of us in America can't get as easily outraged whenever those pieces of shit Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh spout off the verbal equivalent of a black face routine on their shows.

Unknown said...

glenn beck and rush limbaugh dislike democratic policy and lambast all key party members, not just the minorites. it ticks me off when people call them racist just bc they are right wing. they main reason liberals and conservatives don't get along is bc...... one side is liberal and the other side is conservative!! gasp!!

RocketQueen said...

@SkittleKitty - yes, I've seen it, although one could argue that the native peoples in any "new" country have been treated horrendously by European settlers.
Australia's been criticized quite a lot in recent years for immigration policies and laws that smack of racism and xenophobia. As someone who was born in Australia, it's disappointing.

feraltart said...

I am Australian and I couldn't believe that anybody would consider a routine with blackface acceptable. I agree with Enty that being any ethnicity does not preclude you from racism. It is embarrassing as an Australian to find that there is no empathy for the plight of minorities. Please know that not every Australian thought it acceptable, I was personally mortified, as was my husband. Australia isn't just swimming in racism, but bigotry in all forms, against the disabled, the overweight etc. My hope is this will start an intelligent and meaningful dialogue in my country and hopefully move us forward.

Unknown said...

honestly what's the difference between this and tropic thunder? or white chicks?

Unknown said...

You can start by cleaning up here.

* Fred Armisen, impersonating Barack Obama on Saturday Night Live in 2008
* Dan Aykroyd in Trading Places (1983)
* Jack Black in Be Kind Rewind (2008)
* Dave Chappelle in the second lost episode of Chappelle's Show
* Anthony Cumia, impersonating OJ Simpson in his former band Rotgut's music video "Gonna Electric Shock OJ"
* D-Generation X members Triple H, Road Dogg Jesse James, Bad Ass Billy Gunn, and X-Pac during their parody of the rival WWF stable Nation of Domination on the July 6, 1998 episode of Raw
* Tommy Davidson in Bamboozled (2000)
* Whoopi Goldberg, impersonating Bert Williams in the special Night of 100 Stars II (1985)
* Darrell Hammond, impersonating Jesse Jackson on Saturday Night Live in 2006
* Jamie Kennedy in an episode of Blowin' Up and in various skits of The Jamie Kennedy Experiment
* Jimmy Kimmel, as Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey on The Man Show
* Horatio Sanz, impersonating Aaron Neville on SNL in 2007
* Sarah Silverman in an episode of The Sarah Silverman Program
* David Spade in a skit on The Showbiz Show with David Spade
* Ben Stiller in Zoolander (2001)

Majik said...

I think there is a huge difference between "impersonation" and "black face". Black face is, historically, used as a way of reinforcing and making fun of the stereotype...not cool. Impersonation isn't trying to make fun of the race, just the person--a la Fred Armiston and Darrell Hammond. When done properly, impersonation is fantastic--but at no point is black face acceptable, especially in this day and age.

tflamb said...

Isn't the black face paint thing mostly an American thing and origin?

This whole thing assumes that every citizen in the world would react the same way to that which I don't think would be the case.

Our definition of racism and racist behavior is not entirely universal and in our belief that our morals are "superior" (despite daily proof of that not being true) we seem to sometimes forget that the rest of the world doesn't see things the exact same way we do.

redronnie said...

Unfortunately Australia, the United States, and Canada have a common thread that ties them together.

Unknown said...

Thank you Majik, I was just about to say the same thing.

And these morons knew EXACTLY what they were doing, especially in light of the fact that they were mocking black Americans. They can't claim ignorance. The historical context of American minstrel degradation and humiliation aside, in this day and age it just pains me to think that anywhere in the world this kind if fuckery is considered entertaining??!!

Majik said...

E--kudos to you for using the word "fuckery"...it's been on the tip of my lips all day! Loves it.

I actually should have said "reinforcing" the stereotype instead of "making fun" of it--making fun implies innocense, and I don't think black face is innocent. Ted Danson didn't "mean any harm" when he performed that little black face fiasco way back when, but Whoopie Goldberg still found it offensive.

Unknown said...

The skit wasn't lampooning any race or suggesting African Amercans are buffoons - it was takig the piss out of the buffoons that are the Jacksons!!!

redronnie said...

Majik, just to make a slight correction to your post, Whoopie Goldberg defended Ted Danson, they were a couple at the time of the incident and she defended his blackface act at a Friars Club roast.

Unknown said...

I am confused and need clarification on which definition of "minority" is being used in both ENT's post and the comments. Is the word minority being used to describe all people who are non-white or is minority being used to describe the racial group who constitutes the minority of a population?

Jasmine said...

Minorty the word pertains to all people who are subjegated against due to the color of the skin or their orgins/ etc. In my sociology class the question was raised that if eventually whites are overpopulated by another nationality then would whites be considered a minority and of course the answer was NO. People everywhere I believe are familiar with what 'black face' means. And it really isnt limited to that, women who are marginalizdd and overly exagerated on tv, asians, hispanics, and so on, deal with this all the time as well. I think there should be no leeway despite this being another country that does not have our background with african slavery. The world needs to know that it is not okay to make fun of someone because of what and who they are. And i am really proud of Harry C. for bluntly stating his opinionn that it is not a black or white thing but an American thing that you disrespect the whole country by doing something like this. It is when we see ourselves as united, as one, as true sisters and brothers in a human race, that these stereotypes that really harm us can be dispelled for good.

Jasmine said...

- oh, and i too really liked what you said about minoritys not getting a free pass to do this to others enty.

Jamie said...

I can't believe the furore over this skit. As someone who grew up with Hey Hey it's Saturday (born and bred Aussie, here), I know that this was just a repeat performance of a very old skit, for their anniversary special. In no way do I think racism is ok, in no way do I think that glorification of stereotypes is ok... but come on, it's no where near as offensive as half the crap that comes out of America. Honestly when did everything become about toeing the line? I think Harry Connick Jnr was being a dick about this ONLY because if he laughed, he would be scolded by his fellow Americans. Australians aren't a bunch of back water racists and it's unfair that this situation (blown out of proportion) has labelled us so. Which is probably our "karma" for being so rude as to laugh at something! *eye roll*

Mrs George Glass said...

Bit late to this thread, but thought I'd add my 2c as an Australian. TFLive, I understand your point and perhaps that is true of some places, but we have too much in common with American culture and too much direct intake of it for that to be the case here. They should know, and should care to know, the impact of blackface.

I'm 100% with feraltart. I really do love a lot about my country and there are plenty of good people here, but bigotry and ignorance and pride in both those traits is a huge problem. The people I associate with are nothing like this, but I get a rude shock whenever certain issues come up that expose the depth of ignorance of the majority and a stubborn insistence on a right to hold racist, sexist and other prejudiced ideas. When news stories about sexual abuse in sports come up, for example, I read the readers' comments and feel absolutely sick. Imagine pages and pages of comments that are variants on Whoopi's 'it's not rape-rape' argument.

I often feel like we are encouraged to be ignorant here, and there is a large current of anti-intellectualism. Honestly I find it hard to even watch some network TV channels like the one 'Hey Hey' was on. The ads and station promos feel aggressively stupid to me.

I watched a few minutes of 'Hey Hey' (didn't see the performance) and commented to Mr Glass that, while I'm all for anything retro, watching it felt like being in a timewarp in a bad way. The humour is so backward, so unfunny, so childish that I wasn't surprised to hear this happened.

I haven't watched the MadTV skit yet, but as a regular watcher, I know they parody race relations in a knowing way and have cast members that are constantly making fun of their own culture. So I am presuming it is a completely different kettle of fish and that the Aussie media is having a knee-jerk us-vs-them reaction. It's too easy for many here to see any sort of justified outrage as some sort of infiltration of American political correctness, but that's just the latest excuse to get out of learning and changing. There is not just rampant ignorance here, but willful ignorance.

Unknown said...

@ Jasmine: First, I would like to thank you for providing the definition for the term 'minority'. Your definition has the negative connotation I am used to hearing and I had a feeling the definition you provided is the one everyone is using. Also, I like how in the same post you emphatically stated "we should all see ourselves as UNITED, as one, as true sisters and brothers in a human race", so "that these stereotypes that really harm us can be dispelled for good." BRAVO! So why in your second post are you agreeing with ENT's use of the word 'minority' which he uses to describe only non-white people? Did I miss something? It seems you are contradicting your stance of being ONE HUMAN RACE by using the divisive term 'minority' as if to say "let's all be a part of the human race, but remember you are still black/hispanic/indian/non-white." Again, maybe I am confused...

Unknown said...

@ Jasmine: First, I would like to thank you for providing the definition for the term 'minority'. Your definition has the negative connotation I am used to hearing and I had a feeling the definition you provided is the one everyone is using. Also, I like how in the same post you emphatically stated "we should all see ourselves as UNITED, as one, as true sisters and brothers in a human race", so "that these stereotypes that really harm us can be dispelled for good." BRAVO! So why in your second post are you agreeing with ENT's use of the word 'minority' which he uses to describe only non-white people? Did I miss something? It seems you are contradicting your stance of being ONE HUMAN RACE by using the divisive term 'minority' as if to say "let's all be a part of the human race, but remember you are still black/hispanic/indian/non-white." Again, maybe I am confused...

Unknown said...

I really think this is political correctness out of control - but Hey Hey must be loving the worldwide publicity. It s retro and childsh but it was so much a partof our childhoods. One of the best pun parts was watching overseas celebs reactng to dickie and all the asides from John Blackman. Tell me are the old Shirley Temple movies where she sang and danced in blackface banned these days?

Unknown said...

Apologies for my typing.

J-Mo said...

100% with Majik.

Pookie said...

jasmine, i am a minority. as such, i do not and can not ascribe to your description of: "Minorty the word pertains to all people who are subjegated against due to the color of the skin or their orgins/ etc." i am not subjugated against in any way. i'm not saying all people share my experience, but let's not lump us all, k?

i rec. you look into a broader defenition of the word. even wiki gets it right when they say: "A minority is a sociological group that does not constitute a politically dominant voting majority of the total population of a given society..." this is what enty is referring to, plain and simple.

just a thought.

amanda rae said...

Sydney fan-

ITA with you that this is political correctness out of control, but some people are just weeping vaginas about everything. I really think that people actively look for things to get offended over, so they can "make a stand" against whatever the supposed "offensive" thing is, just so other people can see how "enlightened" and "culturally sensitive" they are. It's just attention-seeking behavior and a way to try and make those who don't get all offended seem like big bad racists. It's still an "us vs. them" mentality, but instead of being about skin color, etc., it's now about ostracizing and ridiculing those who do not have the "PC-approved" opinion. Because that's just human nature, and if anyone is actually naive enough to believe that drivel about "one big human family" (ever notice it's only liberal-guilt, self-hating whites who spout that idiocy, and how supposed minorities are the most racist of all?), then there's really no hope for you. Sorry.

Jasmine-

So...whites can NEVER be the minority, huh? How about in South Africa, where they are a small percent of the population, AND are targeted and brutally murdered BECAUSE of their race? Oh, wait, I'm sure that's totally justified because of imperialism and colonialism, right? I just wonder sometimes if the people who spout this drivel realize how utterly stupid they sound. I doubt it though, because they are just sheltered and obviously have no idea about how things work in the real world. But they'll learn one day.

amanda rae said...

And I'll be very surprised if my previous comment is not deleted, since it goes against the hivemind, and we all know that the best way to handle those who refuse to get on board the guilt/self-hating liberal shame train is to either censor them, or to call them names. Which one will it be, the suspense is killing me!! (And this from the people who never. shut. up. about "free speech"! Ahh, the hypocrisy is delicious!)

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

I think amandarae is a memeber of the GOP. Just saying...

Sue Ellen Mishkey said...

- the extra e from up there.

biggirl1988 said...

If jimmy buffet is livin on sponge cake and watchin the sun bake...

he should not look so old.

*sads* love him anyway.

Pookie said...

eek! gop don't want her, trust. ;)

Unknown said...

glenn beck and rush limbaugh dislike democratic policy and lambast all key party members, not just the minorites. it ticks me off when people call them racist just bc they are right wing. they main reason liberals and conservatives don't get along is bc...... one side is liberal and the other side is conservative!! gasp!!
_________________________________

You must also think the moon is made of green cheese

Rush doesn't have to tell me he's fat, I can see it

Same with his racism

If one cannot see the problem with this skit, its because it falls in line with their beliefs

"Isn't the black face paint thing mostly an American thing and origin?"

Are you serious? There were shows during WW2 in FRANCE where people performed in black face, referring to themselves as "monkeys" and eating bananas, all in mockery of blacks

Since when is RACISM or bigotry geographical?

I don't think Australia as a whole is racist, just a few jackasses that have no class. ALL countries have those.

I can't believe that someone would actually do this in 2009. We like to fancy ourselves alot more savvy than we truly are

We keep getting ample opportunities to address racial issues yet we keep bypassing them AMERICA

And I don't mean just black & white, all races & creed

Harry Connick ROCKS!!!

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

May I just say E, contrary to popular belief, the world does not revolve around America.
Your post makes it sound like everyone in the world MUST know American history.
Do you know anything about the history of Australia, besides the occassional comment you read on the internet? No? Then STFU.

I personally am undecided about the skit, but I am just so sick and tired of hearing Americans claim that the rest of the world has no reason to be ignorant about American history. Why should we know squat about you?

Captain Angrypants said...

Hey SkittleKitty... thanks for bringing up Australia's historical treatment of its aboriginal population.

Mind if I bring up America's treatment of *its* aboriginal people... the "Native American" population?

Or Israel's continuing atrocities towards *its* aboriginal people, the Semitic Palestinians (an ongoing genocide openly tolerated by the "civilised" West, and fully funded by the U.S.)?

Pot, meet kettle.

Oh and btw, to everyone getting their knickers in a knot over this piece of shit revue act by a bunch of talentless nobodies, attached is a coupon, redeemable for one life.

The more we pander and prostrate ourselves to the altar of political correctness, the more racism and other forms of bigotry will continue, only in reverse to the traditional means so bemoaned by y'all.

If it's unacceptable to impersonate/lampoon any one specific, identifiable group within our community (whatever the basis... race, gender, sexuality, etc.), then it must needs be unacceptable for *all* such groups.

Any argument to the contrary is bigotry by definition and nothing short of hypocrisy.

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