As the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement takes on global momentum in highlighting racial inequality, Netflix has removed the controversial show, Jonah From Tonga from its streaming service.
The satire show, Jonah From Tonga, was widely criticized for perpetuating negative stereotypes that were offensive to the Tongan community.. Eventually the show was canceled from Maori television after the Tongan community protested.
Chris Tilley, the show’s main actor, puts on a ‘brown-face’ to play Jonah Takalua, “the show-off and troubled Tongan teen (played by the white then-39-year-old in brown makeup), and Ja’mie King, the spoiled suburbanite (played by Lilley in a wig and a skirt).”
Along the same line, the practice of ‘black-face’ non-black actors using makeup to play a black person in a role has been under fire in Hollywood. Most recently comedian Jimmy Fallon was forced to apologize for wearing a “blackface” while impersonating fellow comedian Chris Rock in a Saturday Night Live skit that aired in 2000.
With protests heating up and growing discontent over racial discrimination gaining speed, will we see more authentic representation of minority cultures in the media?