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Comedian Chris Lilley has appeared on Sunrise this morning to talk about his new TV series, a remake of the popular 90’s African-American comedy The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air.
Lilley revealed that the show – which won’t be aired on Channel 7 because of colour restrictions – will feature himself playing all of the characters in the series. “It’s something I’m really comfortable with, being able to play all of these different characters, each of which with varying shades of brown skin, so I can really have fun in the make-up department. Really dig in” Lilley said.
Arriving at the Sunrise studios dressed as Jazzy Jeff – one of the characters on the show – Lilley was asked to have a shower, after executive’s held an all-white panel discussion to decided between having a perceived brown person on screen or promoting blackface and extreme racial profiling.
“Look, we love talking about blacks and giving them a bad rap – pun intended hehehe” said one mogul. “Though we need to stay committed to our audience and make sure POC’s don’t end up on the broadcast, even if it is just technically an hilarious white person taking the piss. We can’t dilute our image”.
When Lilley was asked by an excited Samantha Armytage if he’d spoken to any real people of colour during his research for the show, he revealed that there was actually no need to. “They would’ve hated the idea anyway I reckon so I thought I’d best avoid them. But in all honesty it’s pretty easy for me to imitate a black person and I just watched re-runs of the original. People love me. You guys love me right? “We love you Chris” Armytage replied, giggling and clearly aroused. “I’m a genius!” Lilley responded.
As the interview wrapped up, Lilley showed his love for the Sunrise team with a loving request. “Please tell Kochie I love him. I have every volume of Kochie’s Best Jokes in hardback. He’s so funny”.