Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Race relations causing a pre-emptive media firestorm

John Saffran isn't exactly Australia's favourite son. He got his first big break after drinking his own urine for the ABC's race around the world. His career has been similary mired in controversy, with his first ABC show taken off air after he campted outside Ray Martins house.

Despite this, his outlandish but thoughtful hijinks have allowed him a relatively successful Television and Radio career. And his latest show, John Saffran's Race Relations, has already caused a huge reaction, with Kim Dalton, ABC Director of Television, taking the unprecedendted step of urging viewers of the pedantic variety not to tune in an article published both on ABC Unleashed and News Limited's The Punch.

From the article:

"I have some blunt advice for some of the people who will be reading this article on Unleashed/ThePunch. And it is not the kind of advice you would expect from the ABC's Director of Television.

My message is this: think carefully before you settle into the couch tonight for the 9.30pm premiere of John Safran's comedy-documentary Race Relations. If you think you are going to be offended or outraged (or want to be offended or outraged) then don't tune in."

Ok, so Safran may be getting up to some outrageous things, and with the world of social media, the ability to turn comic controversy into a full blown moral panic is all too easy. As Director of TV, Mr Dalton is obvioulsy going to be coming into some heated criticism over the show, which will feature Saftran being crucified (complete with nails) and masturbating on camera"

From the Hey Hey blackface debarcle to the Chasers Sick Kids to the Cotton On Kids controversy, social media reaction, in particular on blogs and Twitter, have helped fuel outrage against comedians.

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