Why we don't need another Chris Lilley TV show

It's time for Australia to move on from this edgelord. 

Dear Chris Lilley,

Please don't make another comedy show that promotes negative racial stereotypes of cultures that are not your own. 

Yours Sincerely, All of Australia.

Although we can probably all relate in some way to the toxic high-school bully that was Ja'mie King, Chris Lilley does not have a good track record for portraying racially and culturally sensitive characters in his extensive body of work. 

It's been announced that the widely criticised comedian will be filming a new show on the Gold Coast for Netflix between March and June of this year, with the 10-episode series estimated to add $6.5 million to the local economy. 

While Queensland's Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk may be rejoicing, the good news stops there.

Why so harsh? Because unless we start to call out the type of gratuitous racism exemplified by Lilley, people will keep paying for it to be put on our TVs and laptop screens.  

Case in point: In 2012 Lilley released a blackface music video for his "comedy" song 'Squashed N****'. Lilley even went so far as to share the clip the very same day Melburnians protested the death of a 14-year-old Aboriginal boy.

Lilley's music video featured a young black man being run over by a car. 

(Editor's note: For obvious reasons, we're not going to embed this on our website. But you can watch it here if you feel like testing your patience). 

Briggs and Trials from Australian hip hop group A.B. Original have been very vocal about their distaste of Lilley's frequent use of blackface, and his misappropriation of Tongan and Indigenous culture.

A couple of years later, in 2014, Lilley still hadn't learnt his lesson. This time receiving negative attention for reviving brownface character Jonah Takalua from his Summer Heights High series, giving him his own show: Jonah From Tonga. 

The Tonga Herald published a piece in August of that year, thanking several major US civil rights associations for contacting HBO -- one of the show's production companies along with the ABC -- to condemn the racist programme.

New Zealand's Maori Television also cut the show from their scheduling. 

Lilley has never had a problem offending Asian cultures either, with both his Chinese Australian character Ricky Wong in We Can Be Heroes, and overbearing Japanese mother Jen Okazaki in Angry Boys playing heavily into offensive and damaging Asian stereotypes.

Ricky is a parody of an overachieving student migrant, working way too hard to please his strict, academically-minded parents while studying physics.

Jen is the epitome of a lazily written stereotype, rehashing the tropes of an Asian mother who is only focused on making her child a rich star as opposed to a good person. The fake accent is horrific to say the least. 

By far Lilley's most offensive character, let's take a look at S.Mouse. This was the character Lilley used to bring us 'Squashed N****'.

S.Mouse is described as an "underprivileged black kid from the slums" who is later found out to have attended a rich white private school and grown up in a wealthy household.

It's hard to even write about that particularly offensive storyline without getting angry at Lilley's ignorant reduction of hip hop's rich cultural, musical and social significance to the type of pastiche that could only come from a place of white privilege. 

Regardless of whether Lilley's forthcoming series arrives with a newfound sense of cultural sensitivity, he's still the same man that felt entitled to use racial slurs in the name of "satire".

Is that really someone who should be supported on a widespread commercial level? 

Offensive comedy does not always equal insightful comedy. Chris Lilley has shown, at times, to be a writer capable of thought-provoking narratives. Whether he deserves a chance to prove that again is another question entirely.