24 Aug 2017

TV show accused of ridiculing Pacific names

5:35 pm on 24 August 2017

A video that appears to be ridiculing Pacific Island names has angered many, and has been described as offensive and encouraging casual racism.

The video is from an Australian television show, from a segment called 'Footy Kids in Cars', which also aired on Sky TV in New Zealand.

Children were asked: "What's the funniest name in the NRL?"

All the names the children were given to try to pronounce were Pacific Island names.

Their parents laugh while the children struggle with the names, with one parent saying, "there's no easy names in there, is there? Nothing like Ben Smith."

The video has angered many on social media, with some saying it is racism disguised as comedy, and uses children to downplay the fact that the show is mocking Pacific names.

In response to the video, RNZ asked RNZ Pacific, RNZ Te Manu Korihi and Coconet.tv reporters to demonstrate how to correctly pronounce these names.

It's not the first time Australian media has come under fire over the pronunciation of Pacific Island rugby league players' names.

Commentators were accused of racism amid complaints they were not pronouncing Pasifika names correctly at the 2016 Pacific Island Rugby League Internationals.

The commentary prompted New Zealand's Pacific Islands Media Association (PIMA), an association of Pasifika media owners and operators, to lodge a complaint with the broadcaster, Australia's Fox Sports.

Last year, Coconet.tv asked NRL players to set the record straight on how their names should be pronounced.