The Japanese Comedian’s Grave Mistake

Day 6 Part 2 [New Year’s Resolution]: The Japanese Comedian’s Grave Mistake

I love Gaki no Tsukai‘s yearly comedy show Waratte wa Ikenai. Most of it is pretty slapstick so it’s easy to understand. I recently wrote about the top 8 funniest moments, so give it a watch if you’re in need of a laugh. All the videos in the article have English subtitles.

I honestly didn’t think 2017’s show was that great. And it looks like Hamada is in hot water over his “blackface” costume.

The truth is he was supposed to be dressed as Eddie Murphy from a movie. What’s not acceptable in the west is perfectly OK in Japan – not that I’m saying there’s nothing wrong with what the show did here. It was extremely poor decision-making. If this was a western show, no doubt everyone involved would have been fired on the spot.

When he first came out in the costume, I and my Australian friend both groaned and cringed. I knew there’d be the backlash and tweets that so many western newspapers are talking about.

Personally, I think it was really stupid of them to do it. Blackface has never been OK and the joke itself wasn’t funny, either. Throw in how everything is potentially offensive these days and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a lot of angry people.

I still like the show, and I hope Hamada is forgiven for what I genuinely think is just a stupid mistake taken too far. What about you? What do you think? Blatant racism, or just bad taste and poor decision-making?

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