LAUGHS A BLOW TO RACISM
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.”