Does Chris Lilley’s S.Mouse Offend You?

As Chris Lilley‘s latest television series Angry Boys has progressed, it has evidently lost favour with the viewing public – evidenced by a steady drop in ratings as the weeks have gone by. When it started out in May, Angry Boys pulled a reported 1.368 million viewers nationally, compared to its most recent episode which managed to draw 591,000 (which aired on Wednesday, 29 June 2011).

Critics have attributed the ever-diminishing viewing numbers to the characters that are a greater stretch from our everyday reality and the characters that made Lilley Australia’s comedy darling – such as the appalling school girl Ja’mie King from We Can Be Heroes and dog-toting stereotype Mr G from Summer Heights High. One character that has been particularly panned in Angry Boys is black American rapper S.mouse who Lilley plays with blackface. Example…

This week The Vine published an article US hip-hop industry reacts to Chris Lilley’s ‘Angry Boys’ penned by Matt Shea, for which he asked a bunch of real American rappers and American hip hop journalists to provide reactions to the character. The responses he received, across the board, landed somewhere between: ‘it’s offensive’ or ‘it’s not funny’. And provided an interesting new perspective on the character [Read it here].

The story has since been reposted to The Vine’s parent sites including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Brisbane Times, etc, and interestingly the majority of commenters did not agree with those Matt Shea interviewed for the piece:

In fact some people got defensive:

I guess this musters up the question of: can and when does comedy and satire cross the line? Lilley’s Samoan character Jonah from Summer Heights High was a highly quoted favourite with audiences, but Lilley didn’t receive criticism for how he was portrayed.

Tell us what you think about S.Mouse: