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Posted 10.08.09

Statement of Harry Connick Jr. Re Hey Hey Blackface Skit

Hi Everyone: I am in Australia now promoting my new CD and I never imagined this trip would have so much controversy. I've visited Australia now for over twenty years. I love the Australian people. I particularly admire the Australians' love of life and their ability to laugh at themselves. Those of you who have seen my shows or seen me in several comedic skits on TV, know that I have absolutely no problem with comedic sendups or making fun of myself or others. I have watched the media storm that has erupted over my reaction to the Hey Hey blackface minstrelsy skit. Where I come from, blackface minstrelsy is a very specific and very derogatory thing. Perhaps this is different in other parts of the world, but in the American culture, the blackface minstrelsy image is steeped in a negative history and considered offensive. I urge everyone in the media to take a look at the history of blackface minstrelsy to fully understand why it is considered offensive. I also urge you to review the Hey Hey tape and you will see that I did not ascribe any motives to anyone, nor did I call anyone a racist. The blackface minstrelsy skit was a surprise to me and I was simply shocked to see this on TV. I do not believe that the performers intended any harm. I appreciate the folks who have written in support but please know that I allow everyone their own opinions and can only speak for myself. -- Harry Connick Jr.