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Chris Lilley criticised for dressing as ‘blackface’ lesbian in Netflix’s Lunatics

Josh Jackman April 11, 2019
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Chris Lilley, who has been accused of blackface over his new character Jana, who will be part of his Netflix show Lunatics.

Chris Lilley has been accused of "blackface" again. (Netflix)

Chris Lilley has been criticised after seemingly dressing in blackface to portray a lesbian character in his new Netflix show Lunatics.

Among the Australian comedian’s six different personas in the programme is Jana, who’s described by Netflix as “a lesbian pet psychic to the stars” from South Africa.

In the trailer for Lunatics, which dropped on Wednesday (April 10), the Summer Heights High star appears to have darkened his face and styled his hair into an afro for the role.

Watch Chris Lilley in the trailer for Lunatics:

The comedian was also accused of using darker make-up for his show Jonah from Tonga, which was taken off TV in New Zealand in 2014, following complaints. Jonah still appears in Lilley’s Twitter header.

Comedian faces blackface accusations from fans

Many people have expressed their anger and disappointment after watching the trailer for the show, which comes to Netflix on April 19.

One of these viewers tweeted: “There is absolutely no way to justify blackface in 2019. F**k Chris Lilley, and f**k anyone who works with him.”

Another said: “wait, chris lilley is blacking up to play a lesbian psychic??? how?? why??”

Chris Lilley as his Lunatics character Jana, who some say he has used blackface to play.
Chris Lilley plays the “lesbian pet psychic to the stars” from South Africa. (Netflix)

A different user wrote: “By providing a platform for Lilley’s blackface bonanza, #NetflixANZ is also supporting white supremacy. By continuing your subscription to Netflix, *YOU* are supporting white supremacy.”

And yet another commenter said: “And once again Australia’s ‘Days without a blackface incident’ counter resets to zero.”

The Twitter account belonging to Australian comedian Chris Lilley.
Chris Lilley still features Jonah in his Twitter account header. (ChrisLilley/twitter)

Others said that the apparent blackface was to be expected from Lilley after his past shows.

One person wrote: “I haven’t seen his new show. I can’t judge it yet but Lilley’s twitter page still sports pictures of his blackface characters. I’m pretty sure the dude hasn’t grown.”

Another said: “for a white comedian who is continually offered work, chris lilley sure does do a lot of blackface.”

“To be fair, blackface isn’t the only thing Chris Lilley does. He also does brownface and makes jokes at the expense of the LGBT and those with mental disabilities.”

— @edpity

One user tweeted: “To be fair, blackface isn’t the only thing Lilley does. He also does brownface and makes jokes at the expense of the LGBT and those with mental disabilities.”

A different user joked that Lilley’s controversial actions were the result of a deal with the devil.

They tweeted: “Satan: You get to be on TV forever, but you have to do blackface in every show, to the ever-increasing disgust of the audience.

“Chris Lilley: Sure, sounds good!”

Related topics: Australia, Australia, blackface, chris lilley, entertainment, lesbian, lunatics, netflix, summer heights high, Television

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