Comedian Chris Lilley has issued an apology over a blackface video posted on social media that shows a person lying on a road after being run over.
Lilley on Saturday shared his 2012 music video Squashed N***a on Instagram, featuring his Angry Boys character S.Mouse, hours after streets in central Melbourne were brought to a standstill as part of days of protests over the death Indigenous boy Ejiah Doughty.
The 14-year-old had been riding a motorbike in August last year when he was chased and hit by the driver of a ute who said he had gone looking for two stolen motorbikes at a reserve in Kalgoolie-Boulder, 600 kilometres east of Perth.
The man behind the wheel, who cannot be identified, was given a three-year sentence for dangerous driving causing death in the Perth Supreme Court but was cleared of manslaughter.
Elijah’s death and the court ruling sparked national protests against what demonstrators say was an “unjust” verdict.
People sent messages to Lilley on social media on Saturday, condemning his posting of the video.
Lilley later deleted the video and posted a statement saying the video was “not connected in any way to current news stories” and apologised for “any hurt caused by the misinterpretation”.
Twitter: “My social media pages are run for me to give fans nostalgic pics or clips from pervious TV shows. A fan-made remix of a song from Angry Boys made in 2009 was posted recently. It is not connected in any way to current news stories. I apologise for any hurt cause by the misinterpretation.”
Indigenous rapper and actor Adam Briggs, who was recently commissioned by The Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening to write comedy for fantasy series Disenchantment, told Lilley on Twitter he was “tactless”.
The Twitter account for Briggs’ AB Originals, a hip-hop outfit with Trials, said: “It’s not satire it’s racism. You’re not punching up or exploring nuances of culture or story.”
Twitter: “Chris Lilley can delete the posts, block people, delete the tweets, but he can’t delete the immeasurable amount of hurt he has caused”
Twitter: “Chris Lilley if your idea of ‘comedy’ is you being a horrifically racist and insensitive prick, it’s absolutely terrible and wrong’
The Logie Award-winning performer Lilley has previously courted controversy with characters.
In 2014 he was criticised for his ABC television series Jonah From Tonga by the Tongan community which said it denigrated their culture.