Netflix‘s puddle-deep foray into commissioning original content from Australian creators culminated yesterday in the announcement that Chris Lilley would be getting cash from the streaming giant to produce a 10-episode series filmed on, and set in, the Gold Coast.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk extolled the virtues of the new series in a short statement issued yesterday, championing the fact that the production would bring in scores of cash for the local economy.
I am delighted to have enticed Chris Lilley and producer Laura Waters to Queensland. The series will employ up to 250 Queensland cast and extras, plus around 100 Queensland crew.
The announcement of Lilley’s new show, however, drew backlash from critics who argue that his past work speaks to a weak brand of comedy that no longer has a place in society, and represents a body of work repeatedly dotted with racist overtones that the Australian entertainment industry has simply refused to call out or acknowledge.
Lilley, as you’d probably be aware, played a character in pure blackface for his 2011 series Angry Boys, which drew extreme criticism last year after he posted a clip for the song ‘Squashed N****’ on his Instagram account mere days after a man who ran over and killed indigenous teen Elijah Doherty was found not guilty of manslaughter.
Interestingly enough, Lilley and his management are not issuing comment on the new Netflix series at this stage, would you even believe.
However representatives for Netflix have confirmed to PEDESTRIAN.TV that Lilley’s new series, graciously, won’t be characterising race as a focal point of its humour.
We can confirm that there are no plans for Chris to play characters of different races for this project. The project is in early stages and we will have more details to share soon.
Lord knows what Lilley’s got in store for the upcoming series. I hear class and gender are ripe vines to harvest.