Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CBC’s Humour Tasteless Again

Canada’s publicly funded broadcaster – The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) – is in the hot seat over yet another offensive skit, intended to be funny.

The CBC broadcasts two main television networks across Canada in both official languages – one network is English, the other in French. A couple of months ago, the English network was raked over the coals – as it should have been – for attempting to get the Premier of Ontario to play along with one of their sketches, during a press conference where the Premier was talking about the failing auto industry and was directly talking to many who have lost their jobs.

Recently, the French language network came under fire, for a broadcast which aired earlier in the year, depicting American President Barack Obama under threat of assignation, because he is black.

"We're not racists,” says one of the French CBC’s hosts during the show. “It will be good to have a Negro in the White House. It will be practical. Black on white, it will be easier to shoot him.”

America’s first black president is more of a target than previous American leaders, but not necessarily just because of the color of his skin.

President Obama has many different ideas than previous presidents, and has been likened to President John F. Kennedy – who was assassinated. Many to this day think President Kennedy was gunned down because of some of his policies.

Granted, there is more racial tension in the United States of America than here in Canada, and President Obama may in fact be more of a target by radical racially motivated groups.

However, it is wrong for anyone – especially a nation’s public broadcaster – to make light of the situation, and say it will be easier to find him to shoot, because he is black, which essentially the host on the French language network did.

To add to this publicly funded television show’s poor choice of humour, the show also had an actor pretending to be President Obama, and the host turned to the Obama-look-a-like and said: “The blacks, you all look alike,” and then warned viewers to hide their purses.

Humour is often based on stereotypes, but negative racial stereotypes in this age of acceptance and respect for other cultures is unacceptable.

What is worse, Canadian tax dollars continue to fund these tasteless and disrespectful television shows which air nation-wide and internationally on digital cable and satellite systems.

Now, thanks to the network of satellites orbiting the globe, others around the world can see how racist we Canadians are, if they believe – as many do – what they see on television.

When Canada’s public broadcaster, the CBC, airs trash, the world remembers. So much for our internationally reputation of a peace loving nation which welcomes all. Thanks CBC, for making Canada shine once again.

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