PR manager appointed for ‘Hey Hey docs’

Here's a round-up of the latest developments following that incident last week.

jjThe 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.

Source: Sunday Telegraph, The Punch, Sunday Herald Sun, Sydney Morning Herald

13 Responses

  1. There is nothing polically correct about such an oldfashioned and derogatory image.

    The ignorance of everyone defending this and not seeing how it is racist is ruining our country and adding fuel to the fire that we’re a bunch of racist idiots.

  2. @burt – it’s already on youtube.

    The difference is The Chaser did an impersonation without mimicking a blackface routine. Their joke was about the political lyrics in their song (done to the tune of the jacksons) whilst the Hey Hey skit the only joke I can see was the exaggerated costumes.

  3. As The Chaser guys are lying low and aren’t saying anything, if anyone has The Chaser show DVDs (to put the footage on You Tube), they mentioned on The Insiders today that The Chaser guys did pretty much the exact type of skit (dressing up as the Jacksons) and commented that they danced vastly better and didn’t have a US celeb around when they did it.

  4. David, do remember a while ago I made a comment about the internet becoming the judge, jury and excecutioner of all things in the media?

    This seems to be coming true.

    Just imagine if an actor or comedian wanted to dress up and do a parody of how stupid the people of the KKK are?
    An image of them dressed in a pointy white hat could be sent around the world before the skit is even finished. A completely wrong impression could be the end result.

    The world media and bloggers will be watching Australia like a hawk to try and catch us out after the innocent but stupid Hey Hey debarcle. Artistic licence will suffer as a result.

  5. David, have you heard when the second reunion that originally had the Jackson Jive and brought back Ossie will be played on Channel 9? Is that the following Saturday (24 October)?

  6. @Craig.. no they weren’t on the re-run on GO! They were edited out.

    Harry Connick’s speech on the issue at the end of the show was edited as well. They only left him talking about how much he loves the show, and will do anything to get it back and him and Daryl reminiscing about a previous show of Hey Hey that he was on, then they gave him his award for being a regular guest.

  7. all that i can read or see is that eddie, kahmahl, connick jnr and just about everbody and there dog has jumped on to the racist bandwagon, what with fevola and his woes nearly being the same, have we got no other news in australia, its been a long boring couple of weeks,i might have to take up drinking alcohol again and watching neighbore’s again ha ha ha(humour)

  8. Oh dear, McGuire. Let’s back off on the patronising attitude, m’kay?

    “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.”

    So he was pretending to be offended because he calculated that he would get crucified by the US media if he wasn’t suitably outraged?

    Eddie, errr… just go away already. You’re embarrassing yourself.

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