Friday, October 09, 2009

A tip of the Afro to Harry Connick Jr…

A tip of the Afro to a certain Harry Connick Jr., who kept in real…on air…after a skit on an Australian television show featured performers mocking the Jackson Five in blackface.

Connick Jr. was judging and he…well, he judged that skit to be insulting and inappropriate.

He earned a tip of the Afro for doing so in real time…not after getting shit for appearing on the show. His response was immediate…as it should have been.

Harry Connick Jr. went on to say that he would not have appeared on the show had he known about the skit ahead of time.

As for the show and the decision to mock the Jackson Five with a blackface rendition of the Jackson Jive…well, the host admitted later in the show that they are aware in Australia that blackface is insulting.

A bitch hopes the host has learned that referring to men as “boys” is also insulting...

...even as I acknowledge that the host would be rewarded here in the states with conservative super star status, tons of donations and a campaign exploratory committee plus a show on FOX.

Blink.

Anyhoo, keep on keepin’ on Harry Connick Jr.!

7 comments:

Miss Trudy said...

I like him, I went to one of his concerts in NOLA and I am so glad to hear that somebody did something like this right off the bat. I have been chastised. I must go to work on stop calling men "boy" ... though I only do it to younger male friends who, well, do seem like boys to me.

Redneck Liberal said...

At the risk of pissing you off, I still say if a joke's funny, it's still funny however offensive it is. But I can't imagine this black face minstrel crap being considered funny by anyone at all since the early 1800s.

Bearing in mind Australia's horrible record on racism (i.e., trying to exterminate the Aborigines), that performance should be even more offensive to Australians than Americans. So WTF?!

IseultTheIdle said...

Aus is a relatively new country, and a huge, sparsely populated one. They didn't have our Vaudevillian past replete with minstrel shows to store up and release the national bile.

Still, they should have known better, and good for Mr Connick for standing up for what's right.

MissTrudy: I don't call them boys. I call them embryos. It gets a much bigger reaction. /wink

PPR_Scribe said...

I am a HCJ fan--both of his music and his acting. But I have to admit that I expected to feel differently about the clip after reading so much about it on various blogs. I was thinking he stormed off, or stopped the performance, or...something.

He said only minimally what should have been said. I guess the bar is set so low that we are now giving props for that.

Shark-fu said...

PPR_Scribe...
I agree the bar is low, but I also know that lots of good folks have a hard time speaking truth in such situations. The bar is low because of what too many folks laugh off and he gets a nod for not going there...

Miss Trudy said...

Embryos, I like that.

True about the bar being set low. It took me years--YEARS!--to start speaking up in social situations when something seemed offensive or boorish to me. I have to say one soon develops a thick skin and one soon is considered annoying by a great many people. But it's not easy, especially when one knows one is going to be the sole dissenting voice or one is a guest of the people who are being offensive.

David J said...

*sigh*

Once some of my compatriots make fools of themselves. This has been big news here - the show in question was a revival special of a fairly lame, VERY white-bread Saturday-night variety show that was axed ten years ago - I can't think of a US equivalent. The ratings have been very good for the two revival specials.

The reactionary responses to the idea that this could possibly have been racism have been appalling - they didn't mean to offend, everyone should just stop whingeing and get a sense of humour, the performers were from ethnic minorities themselves so that's OK...

There's an article by one of the performers at a Rupert Murdoch-owned group blog here. The performer is back-pedalling as fast as he can in the article, but the comments give you some idea of some all-too-common Australian attitudes.

Not all of us here think like that though, and the Internet has made it easier for people who realise this rubbish is unacceptable to find each other and not feel as isolated in a sea of ignorance.

BTW Kamahl, a dark-skinned singer of Malaysian background who is well known in Australia, has come out and said he was the butt of all sorts of racist barbs while he was a regular on the show.