Monday, February 10, 2014

Nazi strip show outrage in Canberra, Australia

Even mocking Hitler is unsafe

ORGANISERS of the Fringe Festival have defended a free public performance held in Civic on Friday night that featured a performer in a Nazi-style uniform and wearing a Hitler moustache who stripped down to her underwear, amid claims it was anti-Semitic.

ACT opposition multicultural affairs spokeswoman Giulia Jones said the burlesque performance, which allegedly also featured a man pretending to masturbate, was offensive.

She called on Multicultural Affairs Minister Joy Burch to explain how approval was given to spend government funds on support for a show that, in her view, was offensive and racist.

"There were lots of kids around at the time, there were families," Ms Jones said. "The real issue we need to know is how the minister thought it would be acceptable to hold a show with Nazi references within the footprint of the multicultural festival where we had Jewish, German and other stalls nearby?"

The director of the show - titled Die Fringe Burlesk! - Jorian Gardner, said he apologised if anyone took offence but the whole point of the event was to be edgy, and screening meant the show was not directly visible from Civic Square.

"We had a girl dressed up in a fuehrer's outfit and she had gold wings - and I'm not sure Hitler had wings - and she danced around with a Hitler accent," Mr Gardner said.

"If anything it was making fun of Hitler; it was not anti-Semitic in any way shape or form, and everyone who was here was having a laugh at the ridiculousness of it.

"Often with satire it's subjective, I guess, and in this case I think most of the audience saw it was a funny satirical skit, nothing else."

Mr Gardner said it had been the biggest night in the festival's history, and he had not received a single complaint from the jubilant crowd.

"We've given fair warning … of the risque nature of the show; no one can say we haven't promoted it. If people are coming to a burlesque show and a comedy show, they need to know what they're up for and that comedy could push the boundaries. You've got to deal with it."



Anonymous said...

If they want to put on a tasteless show, that's fine. However, government funds should not be sponsoring it.

Anonymous said...

There seemed to be an awful lot of people enjoying the show. As a Jew l thought the Hitler act to be funny and not the slightest bit offensive. The program wasn't exactly my cup of tea but criticism by Gulia Jones was plain and simple grand standing by a politician.

Anonymous said...

Obviously Labour is offended that the Greens now own Canberra which they always considered their home turf.

Having seen what Labour did on Bob Hawkes birthday to mock John Howard I would bet that ACT Labour would have approved the questionable program if they were in charge. Too many in the Labour party have become anti-sematic in order to chase the Green vote.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? It's just Australia. How can you trust a country that has Christmas in the summer?

Anonymous said...

I think the least offensive thing about this show was the Hitler costume.

Anonymous said...

Parodies of Hitler &/or the Nazis is clearly mocking them, so it could not be giving even implied support to the Nazis' anti-semetic views, in fact quite the opposite of course.

Anonymous said...

oh - sorry I see I mis-spelled semitic. (3:19 AM)