Former Hey Hey It’s Saturday star John Blackman has earned the wrath of social media users after falling back on claims the show was racist towards guests.
When he responded to the admission of the musician Kamahl, he felt « humiliated » by a series of racist skits on the variety show. Blackman said he would have « stopped » if Kamahl had spoken at this point, the Daily Mail reported.
Blackman posted on Facebook over the weekend admitting he « winced » looking back at some of the episodes and suggested the star should have let it go by now.
« Gosh, Kamahl, 37 years old, and you are still » humiliated, « » he wrote in response to the Malaysian-born entertainer’s comments in an interview with The Guardian.
A number of Twitter users are now beating Blackman, and Kamahl himself slams his remarks in a follow-up post.
It comes after his former Hey Hey cast member Daryl Somers caused outrage when he said the show’s content would not survive in today’s climate of « political correctness and dissolution of culture, » which sparked the first reaction from Kamahl, who regularly Joking about his skin was exposed to color on the show before it ended in 1999.
When asked if he believed Hey Hey could return in the face of controversial remarks from Somers, Australian member Kamahl’s 86-year-old Order recalled « a number of cases where I felt humiliated. »
He added that at this point he didn’t want to object and instead just smile and « pretend everything is fine ».
Last week, a collection of shocking Hey Hey clips was shared with Kamahl on social media, including segments of blackface posing as a musician and a sketch of Kamahl’s face covered in white powder that Blackman joked about off-screen : « You are a real white man now Kamahl, do you know that? »
To celebrate Daryl Somers’ hot attitude towards the demolition culture yesterday, here are all the changes I made from the Hey Hey archives. Here is the legend Kamahl being bullied by the Hey Hey gang pic.twitter.com/Aa3WMeRw54
« Friends of mine in America saw that and to this day they can’t believe that someone would treat an artist with so much disrespect, » Kamahl explained the blackface imitations.
In response to the re-surfaced clips and Kamahl’s comments, Blackman wrote on Facebook, « You knew where my booth was!
« If you had felt so hurt by my ‘joke’ you should have walked over to it, had a quiet word in your ear, and I would have forever refrained from making any more ‘racist’ remarks. »
He added, « Remember, we’ve all played in less enlightened (unintentional pun) times before, and when I look back on my career at HHIS (via YouTube), I sometimes shrink back from what we got away with – but none of that with any intended malice. »
Kamahl spoke again today and tweeted: « John Blackman wants to know why I didn’t complain at the time! Mr. Blackman, you of all people know that it’s all about TIMING! There’s a time for everything! »
@OfficialKamahl John Blackman wants to know why I didn’t file any complaints back then! Blackman, you of all people know it’s all about TIMING! There is a time for everything! « Why are so many people so rude? »
« How pathetic John Blackman is, selling cruel and degrading stereotypes to condemn @OfficialKamahl for promoting racism, » said one fan.
« You would think John Blackman and Daryl Somers would pull their heads in and think about what they used to do. But no – whine and whine, » said another.
« Wouldn’t it be better for John Blackman to say, » You’re right Kamahl and I’m sorry « … Let’s face it, we’ve ALL said or done the wrong thing at some point, we’re more enlightened now, so apologize & learn from it, « wrote another.
Last week, Daryl Somers said it was a « shame » that TV shows couldn’t « get away with half the things you can do on Hey Hey ».
« You probably couldn’t get away with half the material you could have now on Hey Hey because of the political correctness and demolition culture, » he told The Daily Telegraph.
Last year, people were reminded of the show’s controversial moments when a video from Somers that appeared in black was circulated online.
The clip shows Somers singing Armstrong’s What A Wonderful World with New Zealand jazz singer Ricky May Louis Armstrong.
It was part of a tribute package that aired on the show after the May death in 1988 and can still be viewed on the show’s YouTube page.
Hey Hey, it’s Saturday that hit the headlines again in 2009 when five men appeared in a Hey Hey Reunion Special in black during the Red Faces segment.
The men who pretended to be the Jackson Five received a zero score from guest judge Harry Connick Jr., who said he was offended by the performance.
Somers apologized to the singer at the end of the show, saying, « I think we offended you by doing this, and I deeply apologize for all of us – because I know it is an insult to your compatriots to have one. » Blackface routine like this one on the show so I apologize to you. »
Connick Jr. said he would not have appeared on the show if he had known about the performance.
« I know it was done humorously, but we’ve spent so much time not making black people look like fools that we really take it to heart when we see something like this, » he said.
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