ABC apologises over Bluey dialogue

ABC acts on 2 episodes after a complaint over a term with racial connotations for Indigenous Australians.

The ABC issued an apology over dialogue in Bluey it has reconsidered, following a viewer complaint over a term with racial connotations for Indigenous Australians.

Two episodes were removed from viewing: Flat Pack and Teasing for using the term “ooga booga.”

“The ABC sincerely apologised to the complainant for any distress caused by the term used in the episode titled Teasing. The ABC has a strong record for giving voice to Indigenous Australians and an ongoing commitment to helping reduce discrimination and prejudice and in this case, the language used was inadvertent,” the apology read.

“The complainant was advised that neither the ABC nor the external producers were aware of the potentially derogatory meaning of the term, which was intended only as irreverent rhyming slang often made up by children. The episode was removed from iview as soon as ABC KIDS became aware of the complaint and the ABC undertook to change the dialogue prior to future broadcast or publication.”

Two episodes have been reworked. Flat Pack has since returned and available to view, while Teasing will return early next month.

According to news.com.au the term in question can refer to depicting black indigenous people as ‘uncivilised fools.’

For more info on the context you can visit here.

29 Responses

  1. A lot of ignorance here. Ooga Booga is a crude attempt at mocking African language and has been used by kids for many years to denigrate Indigenous people. I heard it at school in the early 1970s.
    I’m surprised that the scriptwriters put it into a show commissioned by the ABC, they should have known it would cause problems. It is the same as calling Indigenous people apes and monkeys.
    It is not acceptable.

  2. I was recently watching an episode of Bluey about fairies, and was dismayed to see the father pick up a cricket bat and tell his dog kids to hit fairies with a it. Not to mention the demanding attention the little girl dog wanted of her father to show him her domino heart shape. He was on the phone first, so kids waiting their turn to talk no longer applies? How values have changed.

  3. Absolutely ABC made this complaint and relevant action public. It helps their image. I’m actually surprised they didn’t cancel their cash cow over the single complaint, to earn more woke points. Don’t worry, Triple J’s Hack will take calls tomorrow asking their listeners how this impacted their lives.

  4. Is the ABC mandated to make a statement regarding this? I imagine the complaint was made through private channels, and the changes could’ve easily been actioned quietly behind the scenes. This is only going to fan the flames of those insipid political-correctness-gone-mad ‘debates’.

  5. Just because you don’t find it offensive, doesn’t mean it isn’t offensive to others.

    Just try to be nice people and take others people’s feelings into consideration. It’s not hard

  6. So these words can refer to depicting black indigenous people as ‘uncivilised fools.’ but I assume in this case it didn’t and wasn’t the context.

    The use of monkey or ape in certain contexts is also offensive apparently. Should we edit monkey and ape out of use as well?

  7. * Ooga Booga: 2013 film starring Karen Black, Gregory Blair, Ciarra Carter & others.
    * Ooga Booga: Custom fabric design business in Victoria.
    * Ooga Booga: Online video game.

    and so on.

    Absolutely ridiculous.

  8. Well I suppose we do have a lot of time on our hands someone has to complain about something as stupid as this but surprised no one has complained about a dog being of blue colour. Surprised that abc retweeked it, they should have just ignored the complaint, now people will just complain about anything and everything and if they don’t overturn their Complaint they will say well you removed this word in Bluey.

  9. When I emigrated with my family in 1965, I was 4 , I started school when I was 5 , that year we did a play of captain cooks arrival , ( which I did not eventually participate in) in rehearsals we were blacked faced , I when home on the bus , my mum was horrified, and I explained why I had a black face , I showed her the script , she was mortified, she put me in the car and she drove to my school , we went to the principal office with me in tow , my mother went nuts, ( my mother never rose her voice again in my life time ) I did not understand till we went home , at 5 years old my mother had to explain racism to me , so If the ABC thinks there excuse is enough, think again , because in 1967 and mother from the UK new , those words were totally inappropriate, get a better research team , and maybe google search , very disappointed , for the record I am a strong support of the ABC , but I…

    1. Performing a scripted play on Cook’s discovery of the east coast of Australia, now that’s was an amazingly advanced kindergarten and student(s) for 1965. I never heard the word racist or racism used by anyone at that time.

  10. I’ve been on the planet nearly 50 years, grew up in an era heavily populated by Indigenous Australians and have never heard of “ooga booga” having racial connotations. I’ve only heard that used in relation to scary stories about the “boogey man”. I’m at the point where I won’t have anything to do with Indigenous issues because I fear saying or writing the wrong thing and it coming back to haunt me. That surely can’t be a good thing.

    1. I’m slightly older than you and I remember this being used at school as a derogatory term but did not know the racist connotations at the time. I was actually taken aback when I heard it on Bluey because I thought it might be a derogatory term but I still wasn’t sure.

  11. Just when I thought I had seen the stupidest example of champagne “outrage”/”offence”/censorship, we get doozies like this. Doesn’t context and intent mean anything anymore? It’s even more maddening when the masses make acquiescent remarks such as “that wouldn’t fly today” as if they didn’t have any sensitivities of their own, opting to sheepishly do as they’re told to think.

  12. Sorry I find this ridiculous this is PC at its worse. I wanna complain to ABC for pandering to the PC brigade. Ooga Booga has many meanings. Can I just complain that all words have multiple meanings so I find everything offensive so everything has to be done in mime. Ridiculous at its best

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