Apparently, Hey Hey, It’s Saturday is an Australian institution. It has recently made a resurgence. And for the life of me, I cannot understand why. In my journey to better understand the historical culture of this country I now call home, Chris and I watched last week’s reunion episode. While mildly amusing in parts, I found the “comedy” to be very “old school”, slapstick and borderline offensive. I didn’t find it innovative, intellectual or really funny. I may have chuckled once through the whole show. But, yes, this is just one woman’s opinion.
Last night’s episode has been the talk of the town today. They performed a satirical “tribute” skit to the Jackson Five that was incredibly poor taste. Guest judge, and one of my personal musical heroes, Harry Connick Jr., was visibly and then vocally aghast by the performance. I give Harry credit for standing up and calling the show on their racist and incredibly insulting performance. I agree with everything he said. And for those of you Australians who’s repsonse is “lighten up Harry” or “don’t be so politcally correct”, I have one thing to say to you. “Why don’t you stop defending and just listen for a change – you might actually learn something.”
You might learn that insensitivity, disrespect, focusing on differences over commonalities and judgmental behaviour are not funny. You can be funny without mocking, belittling or criticising others. It’s not cool to embrace the philosophy of “anything for a laugh”, especially if it encourages or fuels ongoing racism.
Repeatedly, I have been astounded at how insensitive and sometimes downright racist, some people in this country can be. In Australia, there are images and comments on television and overhead on my daily round that astound me by their racial, gender or physical insensitivity.
I think that we need to stand up and call this behaviour as it happens and I applaud Harry for doing this. We need to be nicer, more accepting, more respectful of each other. I hope that we can all learn a little something from the dialogue that ensues as a result of this.
Thanks Harry for being brave enough to stand up and speak up for what’s right – makes us love you even more!