Harry Connick Jr shooorre is one sessay man. Between the fact that he is insanely talented (triple threat!), the Louieseeeyanna drawl, that partial-pompadour, his multi-platinum croons… let’s just say they’re all reason enough to force yourself to stay awake on a red-eye flight for the entirety of Renee Squintyface’s chick flick New In Town (c’mon, he played a firefighter!).
And you know what ups the foyne factor? When it comes to clowns actin the fool, Harry don’t stand for no mess. As a recent judge on the Australian (no)talent show Hey Hey It’s Saturday, he was visibly upset by the group “The Jackson Jive”, who performed a “tribute” to the Jackson family…by dressing up in blackface and curly wigs and flailing around like jackasses. Apparently the same group was on the show 20 years ago, in the exact same getup, and actually won. Oh. Hell. No.
Although the act got gonged (unfortunately probably because of their sucky dancing rather than in objection to its racist nature), Harry awarded them big fat ZERO (amid audience boos) and called them out on their offensive booshit not only during the judging segment, but requested time later during the show to further voice his displeasure:
“I just wanted to say on behalf of my country, I know it was done humorously, but we’ve spent so much time trying to not make black people look like buffoons, that when we see something like that, we take it really to heart. I know it was in good fun, and the last thing I want to do is take this show to a down level—because you know how much I love this show and this country—but I feel like I’m at home here, and if I knew that was going to be part of the show, I probably—I definitely wouldn’t have done it.”
Spoken like a true Southern gentleman! But my favorite Connick Jr. statement (aside from his spot-on usage of “buffoon”) was his assertion that he needed to say something – “…not as a white American or a black American, but as an American.” Period. As in, every American has the ability and onus to recognize and call out racism – and in the words of MJ himsef: It don’t matter if you’re black or white.
Check the video. The look on Harry’s face at (1:48) pretty much sums it up:
Cue response from one of the guys in the group: “I suspect things are probably a bit different in America in terms of what that (black face) mean. I understand the history of the black face but certainly it was not construed in that way at all. All six of us discussed this at length whether or not we should put this on because we realised it may be controversial. We did go to the trouble of checking with the production staff and they seemed to ok it. Two of us come from India and one of us comes from Lebanon so we can’t afford to be racist to be honest. If we did offend him (Connick) we truly didn’t meant to.”
Oh, ok, so you went through the trouble of checking with the production staff – and they were A-OK with it, so certainly that must overrule 400 years of history. Well done on doing your homework guys. And two of these fools are South Asian? For shame, for shame.
And to the heifer judge who thought the sketch was “very cute” and gave Jackson Jive a score of 7….I think we just had an opening on BCB’s Top HoeBags List.