It opens a little something like this: nearly 130,00 Maori now reside in Australia. This show is about a bunch of them... they're all chasing the dream of money, sex, and fame on The GC.
Yes, I'm talking about TV3's new show, The GC. The show follows a group of Maori living in Australia, a group apparently chasing the dream on the Gold Coast. Aside from being painfully boring, the show is racist in concept.
Shows like The GC, think Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore, are designed to showcase humanities worst. Narcissism, arrogance, ignorance, stupidity and every other foul characteristic you can think of. With this in mind, naturally the producers selected a group of Maori to showcase these characteristics. This, I think, is racist.
The same is done on Jersey Shore and Geordie Shore. In the case of Jersey Shore, Italian Americans are used to show off these less than admirable qualities, as opposed Anglo-Americans. Anglo-Americans are considered your typical White American whereas Italian Americans are fringe white, or less than mainstream in other words. The same is true on Geordie Shore, lower class hooligans are used as opposed to your ‘typical’ and ‘mainstream’ middle or upper class Briton.
It’s the 21st century equivalent of portraying other races as less than human. On the show Maori are cast as being motivated by base instincts. Sex, money and other forms of instant gratification. And, although it never expressly said but it is a clear implication, the viewer is led to believe this what Maori in Australia get up to. Maori are cast as primitive – motivated by sex, alcohol and the next fad.
Of course, the reality is far from what is presented on The GC. Most Maori are working 9 to 5 jobs and supporting their whanau, not driving around in cars all day, sunbathing and saying stupid shit.
At least, I suppose, The GC is more tame than Jersey Shore and the like. The producers on those shows often manufacture fights, gratuitous sex and venal routines (gym, tan, laundry etc) to drive home the narrative that the characters, and by implication their race, are primitive.
Or maybe I’m reading too much into this? Maybe it’s just a show for entertainments sake? Well, it definitely wasn’t entertaining – and I’m the target market. What do you think? This is only off the top of my head and could do with refining/retracting etc
For another discussion on racism in New Zealand television see this post I did on Shortland Street last year.