Hey Hey it’s time to go.

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So Hey Hey it’s Saturday has been gracing our screens again on a Wednesday night. Odd night for the show’s name, I know, but unfortunately that’s not what we’re here to talk about today. As you would have already guessed today’s Puff is about Harry Connick Jr and the Red Faces act that is currently making headlines around the World. Yes, around THE WORLD.

In case you missed it, check out the clip below:

So of course I have an opinion on this and of course I’m going to tread very lightly. I am not a black person, nor have I ever lived in America and witnessed the prejudice that black people still face on a daily basis in some parts of the USA.

We had actually flicked over onto Hey Hey when Red Faces was on and I saw the skit, rolled my eyes and moved on. Then watching back the footage this morning I took note of Harry Connick Jr’s face. He looked quite shocked. He had every right to bring up his opinion on the skit and thankfully an apology was given on air, and it wasn’t swept under the carpet.

Having said all that, I’m slightly struggling on where I sit with this. I believe that the people performing the skit never meant to offend anyone and were clearly replicating the skit they performed on the show some 20 years ago. My initial thoughts were that the skit was more in poor taste towards Michael Jackson and his family rather than a racial issue, but now having thought about, I wonder if it was necessary for the guys to paint their faces black?

A good point was made on Sunrise this morning – would we be discussing this if a black person had painted their face white and danced around stage? Who knows. Probably not.

Unfortunately the international media attention isn’t painting our country in a very good light. I’ve always held the opinion that Australia in general is a very tolerant and multicultural country. So what is the real issue here? That a ‘white’ group performed a Jackson 5 number in general? Or the fact that their faces were painted black?

Ultimately I think Hey Hey is really passed its used-by-date.  It wasn’t a show that I LOVED but as a family we all watched it at 6.30pm on a Saturday night. I was quite happy for it stay as show that I used watch as kid all those years ago. And I bet the now red faced Jackson 5 guys are also wishing their skit had been left in the past.

What do you think?

  • Ben
    October 8, 2009

    As you said Ami the skit is 20 years old and probably should have stayed there. Back then there was far more racism, but far less media coverage and therefore was just something people unfortunately accepted as part of day to day life.

    But in todays society, whether we like it or not racism is a big issue. The performers probably meant no harm, but that is not an excuse as people were obviously offended.

    I agree Ami that it is a real shame our country has been protrayed so poorly overseas of late. I can only speak for myself and friends but i think we are very accepting of not only other races but other cultures. Infact in my travels i have found other countries to be far worse.

  • Ben
    October 11, 2009

    Meh! Storm in a teacup if you ask me. The sad part was that it just wasnt funny or clever in any way shape or form. Im sure the only reason anyone in the audience laughed at all was because there was a person holding up cards telling them to.
    If youve ever seen the show “little britain” which is hugely popular including in the USA you will know that it is full of politically incorrect humour making fun of gays, blacks, overweight people etc etc yet it is absolutely hysterical. Its somehow inclusive and makes a mockery of everyone. Its like we can all laugh at each other as long as we laugh at ourselves also. It also doesnt use skin colour as the
    punchline which I think the hey hey skit did.
    Tracey Ullman is another comedian who is popular in the USA. In her tv show she is often dressed as a black woman and an Indian woman etc yet no one ever seems to bat an eyelid?
    Ive heard quite a few people such as the person above talking about 20 years ago as though it was the dark ages and that it was different ‘back then’. I was there in 1989 and I can tell you racism and black and white minstrel style humour was long over.1969 I could understand but 1989 no.

    I really think that the only reason this is even being discussed is because HCJ made it an issue. The cynic in me says it could have been an opportunistic grab at some publicity. I mean he most certainly got a lot of free media attention from it didnt he!

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