Categories
Culture Film, TV

Australian TV needs to stop using diversity as a gimmick

TV shot of Brooke Blurton, Australia's 2021 Bachelorette

Australian TV will soon make “history”.

This year, The Bachelorette will feature Brooke Blurton. She is the show’s first Indigenous and openly bisexual (successful) star. Both men and women will be competing for her affection. People have expressed scepticism on social media. Many claim it’s a gimmick.I can’t say I blame them.

Producers refused request for an LGBTQ+ Bachelor

Producers of The Bachelor/ The Bachlorette Australia ruled out having an LGBTQ bachelor or bachelorette. This was less than three years ago, after Australia had legalised same – sex marriage. Host, Osher Gunsberg was all for the move. Their excuse was that it didn’t fit the “concept”.

The ‘concept’ apparently needed heterosexuality and monogamy. This excuse raised another issue; the idea that LGBTQ+ people couldn’t have relationships to cis – het people.

This excuse was made less than two years ago.

So, why now? Have ratings plummeted over the years? Is that why they’re using LGBTQ +  and Indigenous people?

I’m sick of this. LGBTQ+, Indigenous people, and people of colour in general, shouldn’t be just add ons. They shouldn’t be used to make a company, or a TV production feel better about themselves. And, frankly, that’s how the TV industry in Australia has been acting recently.

We should be past the idea of having people of colour or LGBTQ+ people in pop culture as revolutionary. Enough with the obsessions of the ‘firsts’..

Australian TV and its issues with diversity

Close up of black remote with white numbers on buttons
Image: iStock

The Bachelorette hasn’t been the only show to face issues with diversity.

Last month, former Neighbours actors Sharon Clanton, Meyne Wyatt and Sharon Johal claimed to be victims of racism, sexism and homophobia. They also accused the production company, Fremantle Media of not doing enough to prevent it. This shows that virtue signalling doesn’t work. Inclusion has to be genuine.

Will producers treat Blurton fairly?

I doubt I’ll watch the Bachelorette. If I do, it won’t be much of it. However, I do hope Brooke Blurton is treated and portrayed fairly.

I hope that the producers respect Blurton’s identities. I hope producers don’t erase Blurton’s bisexual or Indigenous identities. Let’s also hope they don’t make soft-core porn from Blurton’s sexuality, either.

Enough of ‘firsts’ and gimmicks

The Neighbours controversy (for me) proves that meeting a ‘quota’ is not enough. Having Indigenous or LGBTQ+ characters is not enough.

It’s time to normalise LGBTQ+ and Indigenous people in Australian pop culture. They should be included without causing a news story! Can we get to that point?

 

Just another side note, can we please not make Blurton’s identities into a debate? If Blurton claims she’s Aboriginal and bi, can we just leave it at that? So what if Blurton didn’t identify as bi three years ago? She can now if she thinks it fits her. Sometimes sexuality isn’t so clear cut. And her being or “identifying” as Aboriginal? I don’t want to get into that.

 

 

What do you think of The Bachelorette this year? Will you watch it? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

 

Categories
Culture Film, TV

Uber Eats ad is noice

This is a new Uber Eats ad. It features Magda Szubanski as her Kath and Kim character, Sharon Strizlecki and Kim Kardashian-West. It’s very well done.

Categories
Culture Film, TV Pop Culture

Taboo: black humour with compassion

 

For the last two Thursday’s, I’ve been watching Ten’s controversial show, Taboo.

In the show, stand-up comedian, Harley Breen meets people facing adversity. After getting to know their situation, he uses their experiences as part of his stand-up gig.

This is not the first time he has attempted this. Last year, he did an episode on disability. I wasn’t aware of that.

In the first episode this year, Breen went to the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, to meet terminally ill people:

  • Matt: former infantry soldier who was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour
  • Lauren: cystic fibrosis, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety sufferer.
  • Nicole: new mother who was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer
  • Michael: father of two girls, diagnosed with lung cancer (not caused by smoking).

Matt, Lauren, Nicole and Michael opened up about their diagnoses and how it affected them and their loved ones.

My favourite part was when Breen and the guests started talking about medications they all take. Breen then joked that tgey were all “massive druggies”. I think that worked because the guests cinsented and in on the joke.

There was one joke Breen made that I thought was miscalculated. That was when Breen talked about parents losing terminally ill children. This was after Matt confided in him how much it upset him and indicated that was his personal boundary. I don’t think Breen was being callous, but if I were him, I would have left it out.

 

Breen tackles racism

Last week, Breen tackled racism and prejudice against Muslims.  Breen admitted on Studio 10 that it was the episode that he was nervous about.

This episode was well done; maybe better than the terminal illness episode.

I found this episode more satirical. Breen mocked the attitudes that the guests faced. He tackled intrusive questions, (i.e. ‘where are you from?’) and ostracism that some Muslims face, especially in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

My favourite part of this episode is when Breen tackled cultural differences between himself and Sara. Because of her faith, Sara doesn’t drink alcohol. Breen treated this like a language barrier in his stand up gig.

 

 

My take on the Taboo series so far

Overall, I think Harley Breen should be applauded. I like the way he has seeked consent from and bounced ideas off his guests upon the show.

 

This style of black humour isn’t for everybody. For some, the topics will be too raw and upsetting. Some may think that there are some things that “don’t have funny” in them.

Taboo  dares to test the boundaries of comedy. This is what makes Harley Breen so commendable.

 

The next episode tackles mental illness.

 

Taboo airs Thursday, 8.45pm EST on Win.

 

Have you seen any of the Taboo comedy series? Let me know your thoughts about it in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Film, TV

“The Simpsons” turns 30

It’s been thirty years since the hit animated sitcom, “The Simpsons” debuted in the U.S. I can’t believe it. What an achievement!

I grew up watching “The Simpsons”. Here in Australia, it’s been featured on “Channel Ten” (now on Eleven), for years and years. It used to be on weeknights at 6 pm for, I don’t know how many years. Plus, episodes use to get played on the weekend, too. That includes endlessly repeated episodes.

I’ve also seen “The Simpsons Movie”. It’s good. I’ve never been overly keen on the Halloween episodes. Not sure why, just like the regular ones.

Favourite episodes

Hmm, favourite episode… That’s a bit of a hard one. There are so many to choose from, but I do have a few favourites. One of my all – time favourites is where Homer realises his mother is still alive and is a fugitive. Here’s one of my favourite scenes from it:

Another one I liked I actually studied at school in Year 10. It’s where Homer gets paranoid about having gay local shop keeper and about Bart’s sexuality

When Homer tries to be a hippy… with disastrous consequences, of course.

Of course, Bart, even though he is (eternally) only ten, he has a mortal enemy, Side Show Bob. Yet, they become allies when Bob’s evil brother tries to kill them both. Even though Bob saves Bart, he still gets arrested. Life’s just not fair for some, eh?

 

“The Simpsons” still manages to make an impact on pop culture. What a legacy! I guess it still reflects Western society today, as it did back in the late 1980’s and 1990’s, and people can relate to the characters: a child who’s too smart and crying for recognition, a boy who has behavioural problems, the underappreciated housewife, etc.

 

It goes to show that, quite frankly, people are slow to learn – about prejudice, how reliving the “old days” tends to backfire and how, unfortunately, the education system is failing children that need help the most.

Apparently, there’s an episode about “safe spaces” online. I’ll have to check that out.

 

I don’t think “The Simpsons” is going anywhere anytime soon. It’ll remain a staple in pop culture both here in Australia and in the U.S. for years to come. With it’s biting humour and relevancy, how can it go wrong?

 

So, happy birthday, “The Simpsons”!

 

What are your favourite “The Simpsons” episode?