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MTV Australia’s casual racist comment a reflection of Australian society

MTV Australia has got to leave the joke cracking to the comedians, because they absolutely missed the mark with their comment about Eva Longoria and America Ferrera in a tweet about the Golden Globes.

A failed attempt at humour and sarcasm, the MTV Australia social media “expert” left a comment that was notably racist and roll-your-eyes-into-the-back-of-your-skull inappropriate.

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Both Eva Longoria and America Ferrera popped up on the Golden Globes podium to present an award, joking that Latinas are often mistaken for other Latinas in the industry. MTV Australia thought it smart to comment the following:

“Where are the English subtitles? We have no idea what @AmericaFerrera and @EvaLongoria are saying #GoldenGlobes.”

Well done, MTV Australia. You guys really know how to take a perfectly normal part of the award ceremony and taint it with some casual racism.

Unfortunately, they didn’t initially think the comment was anything to worry about at all, but after some social media uproar, they deleted the tweet and later posted: “Our Tweet was in reference to @EvaLongoria & @AmericaFerrera’s #GoldenGlobes joke. We sincerely apologise for causing offence,” as well as, “We get it was a bad call. We’ll leave the humour to @rickygervais.”

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Thank goodness, though, that people have been pointing out the true nature of the comment, forcing MTV Australia to apologise.

But elements of racism are rampant in Australian society — just take a look at Adam Goodes, for instance.

The champion footballer says he was forced to retire from AFL after receiving incessant booing from spectators during his games. All of which began after he performed a traditional indigenous war dance on the field to celebrate a goal.

“Adam is hurting. He feels it’s racist — many, many people feel this is racist — and therefore why would you do it, knowing that?” AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan said at the time.

Of course it was racist, and I’m still left scratching my head over why there was so much debate about whether or not it was racist — from largely white commentators, might I add.

Casual racism is seen everywhere in Australia. On the train, on the way to work, at the sporting field, on television, on social media.

I’d really like to forget that video footage of a woman yelling racist-charged hate at a young woman on a train in Sydney. I’d also like to forget the time Karl Stefanovic asked some Indian cricket fans on breakfast television, “Who’s going to be manning 7-Elevens today?”

But casual racism is alive and well in Australia and there’s nothing casual about it. It has lasting effects on a person’s mental health, and it is an embarrassing element of the Australian psyche — that people think racism is somehow acceptable, and even casual in nature.

Beyond Blue released a recently campaign about the effects of passive, or casual, racism in order for people to “stop the discrimination, think about how your comments or actions could cause real distress and harm, and respect people who are different from you.”

MTV Australia, you should be taking note.

What did you think about MTV Australia’s comments? Let us know.

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