The doctors who performed Hey Hey‘s ‘blackface’ sketch have appointed a PR manager to deal with the fallout and media furore.
The incident has attracted global debate.
PR manager Matthew Horan from the firm Cato Counsel is working on a pro-bono basis, according to the Sunday Telegraph.
Last week Suresh de Silva penned his thoughts on appearing in the Jackson Jive to The Punch, saying, “…when we saw Hey Hey was doing a reunion show we sent in the DVD of our old performance as an audition. Channel Nine loved it and asked us to do the skit again.
“We’re not so naive that we didn’t think it would be a little bit controversial to paint our faces black. We discussed it before the show.
“But to be honest, we thought that we didn’t get any complaints 20 years ago, and we didn’t get any complaints two months ago at the Med Revue, so we figured it was probably all in good fun.
“We all underestimated what the reaction would be, but in the end it was our decision to go on air dressed the way we did. The worst consequence of what we did is that the skit has raised the question of are Australians racist.”
Meanwhile Eddie McGuire weighs into the debate today in his weekly column for the Sunday Herald Sun:
“I must admit sitting on the couch watching the segment I had a similar reaction to Connick,” he writes.
“Having been on the (Footy Show) set when (Sam) Newman walked out in a blackface, I can assure you the reactions come at a million miles an hour.
“I wondered what Connick would do. I believe his reaction was from the heart, but as Connick’s mind raced he would have known he would be savaged in America if he made no reaction.
“In the world of YouTube and the internet, nothing stays quiet these days.
“Also, Connick needed to make sure he didn’t overreact and look like a poor sport or overly sensitive.
“I say three cheers for Connick and the way he conducted his protest.”
In other developments Harry Connick Jr. cancelled an appearance yesterday at a Castle Hill shopping centre following concerns for his safety.
‘A source told the Sydney Morning Herald, “‘They just decided because of the controversy and the hoo-ha, it probably wasn’t a wise thing to do.
”From a management point of view, what they were reading online, they were getting quite worried about it.”
Connick is set to appear in tonight’s Australian Idol. Will be interesting to see those numbers tomorrow.
And finally a Sky News interview with Daryl Somers at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday has been pulled from YouTube following a copyright claim by Ninemsn.
In the clip Somers said, “If there were any Australians who were offended … on behalf of the show I apologise.
“To most Australians I think it’s a storm in a teacup.”
He also, somewhat bizzarely, affected a Southern US accent when quoting parts of his conversation with Harry Connick Jr.