We could of also titled this post “Hey Hey Can I Shine Your Shoes?”, “Six Minutes Of Cringe” or “In Which Another National Institution Makes Australia Look Bad”.
For those who missed the second installment of last night’s Hey Hey It’s Saturday reunion special, a Red Faces skit titled “The Jackson Jive” noticeably upset judge and longtime Hey Hey guest Harry Connick Jr. We’ll ignore the fact that it’s way too soon for Michael Jackson parodies and jump into Connick Jr’s main gripe – the use of “blackface”. Now blackface might appear silly or innocuous to Australians but for 180 years it was the theatrical makeup used to establish and perpetuate negative racial stereotypes in America. That shit ain’t funny and it’s certainly not entertaining.
I mean, we’re all sensitive to notions such as slavery and racism but when it comes to the symbols of those ideals Australia remains blissfully unaware. It’s like that time Prince Harry dressed up as a Nazi, except instead of one person it’s a whole television station and country that looks bad. Dressing up as a Nazi doesn’t directly make Prince Harry racist and I’m sure he’s not – but the dude should have known better. The same sentiment could be pointed at the Hey Hey It’s Saturday’s Producers who let this skit go to air.
What do you think – culturally insensitive and mildly racist or ill-advised but harmless?