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Published:October 15th, 2009 13:31 EST
Aussies In Blackface Perform As Jackson Five

Aussies In Blackface Perform As Jackson Five

By Robert Paul Reyes


"Last night an Australian variety show aired a skit with five men in blackface performing as the Jackson 5. And the audience cheered! Thank goodness Harry Connick Jr was there to be the voice of reason.

The show was a live reunion special for Hey Hey, It`s Saturday, a popular and long-running program down under that was cancelled a decade ago. During their Red Faces segment, which is similar to the American version of The Gong Show, six doctors performed a choreographed number in blackface and afro wigs pretending to be the Jackson 5. Thankfully, one of the judges hit the gong shortly into the number." Read More

In America even an obscure cable channel desperate for ratings wouldn`t dare air a show featuring white men performing in blackface. The American public wouldn`t tolerate such a blatant display of racism.

It should be noted that the guys performing in blackface weren`t ignorant bar flies, they were all physicians. It`s quite an indictment of Australian society that professionals are quite willing to perform in blackface on TV.

In Australia blackface is a sure-fire way to entertain an audience and spike the ratings. The crowd applauded the clowns in blackface, and they expressed displeasure when they were gonged.

Harry Connick Jr who was one of the judges conveyed his disgust and displeasure by giving the performance a zero score, and by canceling an autograph session following the show.

Harry Connick Jr is a gifted jazz artist who was inspired by the many talented black jazz musicians from his hometown of New Orleans. Connick doesn`t see blacks as caricatures, but as human beings worthy of respect, and he was outraged by the offensive skit.

Connick has always been one of my favorite singers and actors, and my admiration for his has only grown stronger. Kudos to Connick for speaking out against racism!