Videogum

Harry Connick Jr. + Australian Blackface = Eracism

Gabe Delahaye | October 8, 2009 - 9:18 am

You probably already saw this clip since it was everywhere yesterday, and I promise never to ever be on an airplane again* so that you do not have to suffer the indignity of seeing something posted a few hours later than it was posted on some other websites. But on the slight chance that you did not see this clip yesterday, you are about to see it, and for that I suppose I am also sorry. Because it’s a terrible clip! Harry Connick Jr. was a guest judge on an Australian variety show called Hey Hey It’s Saturday, and a group of doctors calling themselves the Jackson Jive came out and performed a horrifying blackface Michael Jackson tribute. Yikes. To make matters worse: the audience LOOOOOVES it. Fosters may be Australian for beer, but blackface is Australian for thing everyone loves so much apparently. Afterward, the host of the show, Daryl Somers, brought Harry Connick Jr. out to apologize. All of this after the jump.

Oh, Australia. With your Apocalyptic dust storms, prison colony roots, and fiercely guarded love of blackface. Probably the weirdest part of this whole thing is the apology. Because what is the host apologizing for? Offending Harry Connick Jr.? Yes. Finally, the long rift between the Australian variety show Hey Hey It’s Saturday and Harry Connick Jr. has been repaired! So many generations of people prayed that they would one day see Hey Hey It’s Saturday living in harmony with Harry Connick Jr. but so few expected to see it in their own life times. Amistad.

According to FabLife, the Australian public reaction has been that Harry Connick Jr. was being too politically correct. Which is hilarious. Because Harry Connick Jr. was not so much being too politically correct as he was being exactly the right amount of regular correct. Also known as “classic correct.” I mean, even if blackface has a longer history of racial insensitivity in the United States, it still seems pretty obvious why that would be offensive everywhere. Right? Am I just so entrenched in my American puritanism that I’m incapable of seeing how a bunch of white people painting their faces with shoe-polish and doing a choreographed monkey dance is just gentle comedy all in good fun? Back me up, Japan! Japan? (Via MovieLine.)

*I make no such promise! IT IS LIFE, AND I MUST JUMP INTO IT.