‘Racist’ Bluey episodes pulled from TV
As families around the world get more and more hooked on Bluey, they're also adding new and unlikely words to their vocabulary.
"Cheese and Crackers …"
"For real life …"
"100 dollar bucks …"
If these words sound at all familiar to you and your little ones, you've definitely watched your fair share of the popular ABC series.
All are very innocent when used in everyday conversations. But there is one word used on the show and copied by diehard fans that has been deemed "racist", resulting in the mysterious disappearance of two episodes using the word.
According to an update provided by the network on their website, some viewers have complained that an episode featured on ABC iView "included a term with racial connotations and a problematic history for Indigenous Australians".
The word used in the episode, as well as another, is "ooga booga" and as a result of the complaints, TV bosses have decided to rework two episodes.
Diehard Bluey fans hit reddit to highlight that episodes titled "Teasing" and "Flat Pack" were now gone from the listing.
"If the 'ooga booga' scene was censored and re-dubbed in 'Flat Pack', Bandit's nickname given by Bluey and Bingo in 'Teasing' was also 'ooga booga' … Perhaps that's the connection to 'Teasing' being pulled?" one fan questioned on the forum.
And they were correct.
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The ABC issued a public apology on their website.
"The ABC sincerely apologised to the complainant for any distress caused by the term used in the episode titled 'Teasing'. The ABC has a strong record for giving voice to Indigenous Australians and an ongoing commitment to helping reduce discrimination and prejudice and in this case, the language used was inadvertent," the apology read.
"The complainant was advised that neither the ABC nor the external producers were aware of the potentially derogatory meaning of the term, which was intended only as irreverent rhyming slang made up by children. The episode was removed from iView as soon as ABC KIDS became aware of the complaint and the ABC undertook to change the dialogue prior to future broadcast or publication."
When contacted by Kidspot, an ABC spokesperson confirmed two episodes have been reworked due to the concern over the use of the word, but won't be gone forever. 'Flat Pack' is now back and available to view, while 'Teasing' will return early next month.
"The ABC removed a potentially derogatory term from the Bluey episodes 'Teasing' and 'Flat Pack', which was intended only as irreverent rhyming slang often made up by children. The episodes were temporarily removed from iView and the dialogue changed as soon as the ABC and external producers became aware of the potentially offensive meaning of the term," they said.
"The ABC has a strong record for giving voice to Indigenous Australians and an ongoing commitment to helping reduce discrimination and prejudice and any offence caused was inadvertent."
WHAT DOES 'OOGA BOOGA' MEAN?
According to Urban Dictionary, the word "ooga booga" is a word used in the times of cavemen. It means "hello, goodbye, how are you, wassup … really anything you want it to." Macquarie Dictionary describes the word as "a stereotypical rendering of what the speaker regards to be the language of those deemed by them to be African savages."
But according to one fan, the meaning of the word goes way beyond that and causes hurt among Indigenous people.
"I know to many you just see this word as "caveman speak", or in the harmless way the writers clearly did too," the fan shared in a Bluey fan page on Facebook.
"But not everyone sees it that way. Including me. I'm in my 40s, and I well remember a time growing up in Western Sydney where the phrase 'Ooga Booga/s' was used conversationally to describe a dark skinned person/s. It was used in social circles, in movies or TV depicting black indigenous people as 'uncivilised fools,'" they added.
"I personally balked at hearing it used in Teasing, but never said anything because I thought it was maybe just me."
FANS ARE SHOCKED AT THE ABC'S DECISION
Most fans were shocked to see the ABC pull the "innocent" episode.
"Can someone explain to me how 'ooga booga' is racist?" one fan questioned.
"Can't people just enjoy Bluey as a wholesome cartoon?" another added.
Meanwhile, there were plenty of fans of the animation who had no idea the words were potentially offensive and were grateful for the lesson.
"Learn something every day, banning this word in our house now! Well done to OP/ABC/Bluey team for standing up and doing something about casual racism and educating us," a fan shared.
Another added: "Oh dear god my children say it all the time thanks to show! I honestly believe, once you know, you do better!"
"Didn't even know it was an offensive term. I use it all the time with daughter when she blows her nose, telling her we need to get her 'ooga boogas'. Now that I know it is an offensive word, we will change the term we use," another shared.
This article was originally published on Kidspot and is reproduced here with permission
Originally published as 'Racist' Bluey episodes pulled from TV