Yesterday’s Zero

So last week this happened:

Which, after a bit of digging around, turned out to be from this story:

On Tuesday, the 34-year-old told The Herald Sun that Chris, 45, ‘won’t learn’ from the backlash he received from his blackface characters in his sketches – stating he ‘hasn’t accepted the ramifications for what he’s done’.

‘Chris Lilley didn’t do these shows last week, and he’s not the only one,’ he said.

‘He became the poster child for that cancel moment… but you can still download and buy his products. It’s not like he’s going anywhere.’

He went on to say that there was many people who sat around and allowed the sketch to be made at the time, thinking it was a ‘good idea’.

Taking a swipe at the comic, he added: ‘This isn’t a teachable moment yet because he hasn’t learnt. He hasn’t accepted the ramifications of what he’s done.’

Which seems to have been set off by this:

Netflix has this morning removed four Chris Lilley series from its library following increased scrutiny over his portrayal of non-white characters.

We Can Be Heroes, Summer Heights High, Angry Boys and Jonah From Tonga have all been removed.

Which happened… three or so months ago? So why is this news now?

As far as we can figure out, a few of the usual right-wing media figures have been banging on about Lilley lately, using the tried and tested “hey, remember how you used to like this thing but now you can’t because of political correctness? Doesn’t that make you angry?” method of trying to rile up their audience.

This is Australia, so who knows? It might work. It was barely a decade ago that we had a Hey Hey It’s Saturday revival that put blackface back on our screens, after all. Though you might have noticed literally nobody is calling for Daryl Somers to make yet another comeback now.

The problem with trying to stir this shit up yet again is that it’s simply not controversial to say in 2020 that Chris Lilley lost his audience because people stopped finding his act funny. They stopped because as social values shifted, the values his shows were built on became outdated and offensive. His comedy didn’t age well and he never moved with the times. He’s old news.

People who want to laugh in 2020 aren’t turning to Chris Lilley, and people in 2020 who are defending Chris Lilley aren’t doing it because they still think he’s funny. They’re trying to make him a symbol of “the good old days”, when it was okay to laugh at a white guy pretending to be Asian or Islander or Black or a teenage girl and shit, we’re still haunted by that scene in the last episode of Ja’mie Private School Girl where Lilley CGI’d his head onto an actual topless woman’s body and fuck it, this conversation is over.

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