Thursday, October 8, 2009

the 'Toughen Up' and 'Don't Watch it' crew

Last night the final of a two part retrospective of one of Australia's most popular Saturday night TV shows was screened on TV. Hey Hey It's Saturday was a very popular show in its day. It ran for 28 years finishing up 10 years ago.

Bringing it back for the two episodes was a popular move. Unfortunately last night's episode featured a Blackface act, with a group of white guys doing a Jackson 5 parody. I was a bit shocked when they came on....I hadn't seen such an act since I was a kid and the BBC screened The Black and White Minstrels back in the 1950s. This act was part of a regular segment of HHIS called Red Faces. When all the acts were finished a panel of judges, one of which was Harry Connick Junior awarded scores. Harry was visibly upset over the Jackson5 act and said so. He awarded a '0' adding that that act certainly wouldn't go down well in the U.S.. As the show wound up the host, Darryl Somers, made a sincere apology which was accepted.

Today there has been a mixed reaction to that booboo. The Toughen Up and You Don't Have to Watch brigade were out in force. All too often when something that is controversial or offensive is screened on TV they suggest that people who voice a complaint are PC and should merely change channels.

The show was pretty good and I fail to understand how Darryl Somers could have thought that such an act would not cause embarrassment to many viewers.

Should you wish to read more on Blackface, you can see it here.

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