LAUGHS A BLOW TO RACISM

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV -

Com­edy took Ian Mead­ows ( The Moodys) to re­mote in­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties that few Aus­tralians will ever have the chance to visit.

The kind of com­mu­ni­ties that PM Tony Ab­bott re­cently de­scribed as “a life­style choice”.

“I think that it’s great that this show’s com­ing out now, it sheds some light on the nar­row mind­ed­ness of com­ments like that,” Mead­ows says.

“It’s in­cred­i­bly dam­ag­ing, the pa­tro­n­is­ing un­der­tones of com­ments like that. I hope a show like this al­lows peo­ple to laugh at ev­ery­one in­volved.”

8MMM Abo­rig­i­nal Ra­dio is filmed and set in Cen­tral Australia, where well-mean­ing but mis­guided white­fel­las – such as Mead­ows’ Jake, act­ing GM of the ra­dio sta­tion – ex­ist un­easily with the na­tive land own­ers.

Co-star­ring Shari Sebbens ( The Sap­phires) as trainee GM Jessie, there is ca­sual racism and cul­tural mis­un­der­stand­ings but lots to laugh at.

Mead­ows says film­ing up north shaped his per­spec­tive.

“Whether it was just hang­ing out with peo­ple hear­ing sto­ries, or chat­ting to peo­ple on set who live there, and hear­ing first hand the kinds of in­sti­tu­tion­alised racism and po­lit­i­cal in­fight­ing, and all the hu­mour and frus­tra­tion that comes with it … you can read about this stuff from afar, but deal­ing with peo­ple di­rectly was re­ally in­ter­est­ing.”

Mead­ows says film­ing in Alice Springs re­minded him of grow­ing up in a small min­ing town in WA.

“It felt like I was back in Col­lie in a way,” he says. “In my ex­pe­ri­ence, there was ten­sion, but there was also a lot of things that could bring peo­ple to­gether, foot­ball be­ing one of them.

“Alice Springs is a great mi­cro­cosm of Australia. All the ways in which it’s great, and all the ways in which the ug­li­ness comes out.”

Ian Mead­ows.

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