Aussie Troupe's Racist Skit Leaves Connick Aghast

Singer as guest judge panned blackface Jackson Five act

Thursday, Oct 8, 2009  |  Updated 6:30 AM CDT
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Aussie Troupe's Racist Skit Leaves Connick Aghast

Harry Connick Jr. was not amused when an Australian troupe spoofed the Jackson Five in blackface.

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An Australian variety show host has apologized for a racist skit that lampooned the Jackson Five and left guest judge Harry Connick Jr. mortified.

Connick, who had been invited to judge acts on the show, was visibly shocked by the skit, in which four men with afro wigs and blackface sang and danced behind a Michael Jackson impersonator wearing white makeup. Connick, 42, gave the performance a zero score and told them that if it had been done in the U.S. it would have been pulled off the air.

Daryl Somers, host of "Hey Hey It's Saturday Night," apologized to Connick at the end of the live show.

"I know that to your countrymen, that's an insult to have a blackface routine like that on the show, so I do apologize to you," Somers said.

Connick said he would not have appeared on the show if he'd known about the skit.

"I just want to say, on behalf of my country, I know it was done humorously, but we've spent so much time trying to not make black people look like buffoons, that when we see something like that we take it really to heart," he told Somers after his apology.

Get more: MSNBC

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