It was a roast!

June 27th, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The HoS reports:

A top TV star unleashed a racist outburst at a high-profile media event this week – claiming that “Jews were expendable”.

, one of the creators of bro’Town, told an audience including Jason Gunn, Mike Hosking, Kate Hawkesby and John Tamihere, that “Hitler had a right” and HIV sufferers deserved to be “roasted”.

Now I am quicker than most to condemn anti-semitic remarks, but I do not think in this case he was being anti-semitic. Read on:

Fane made the tirade on Wednesday night at the inaugural Radio Roast at the exclusive Northern Club in Auckland.

He said: “You are the worst motherf*****s in the world, you agency guys,” referring to advertising bosses in the audience.

He said: “I want to eat you, but I won’t because I don’t want to get HIV. Would you roast an HIV person? You’d roast them because they’re expendable. Like the Jews. Hitler had a right, you know.

“You’ve all got f****** Aids, c****!”

I’ve bolded the key point – it was a roast. If people don’t know what roasts are like watch any of the celebrity roasts on Comedy Central. They consist of comedians going out of their way to be as offensive as possible to the guests and audience. What Fane said there is mild in comparison to some of the celebrity roasts on TV.

The outburst has sparked outrage in New Zealand’s Jewish community and among Aids health advocates.

New Zealand Jewish Council president Stephen Goodman demanded that Fane and his employers apologise.

He said the speech had parallels to Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic outburst in 2006.

“It is a very anti-Semitic statement,” said Goodman. “While we wish to preserve the rights to freedom of speech he went over the line.”

Goodman said the comment was heightened by the fact Fane was a role model.

“He is entitled to hold his own opinion and if this is what he truly believes, he should just keep his mouth closed.”

No he should not apologise because (unlike Mel Gibson) he was not expressing his beliefs. What he said was not his own opinion – it was deliberately offensive as part of a roast.

Now people may not like roast humour – but they can choose not to go to it, or watch it. But there is a big difference between offensive humour and true , racism etc.

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49 Responses to “It was a roast!”

  1. tom hunter (4,838 comments) says:

    I agree.

    But you should have had an entire post on Helen Fucking Thomas. Now that was nasty, Jew-hating shit, it came from a much lauded member of the left-wing media, and a front-row White House reporter to boot.

    And the story has predictably gone down the MSM memory hole in just two weeks in the US – standard excuse is now a shrug of the shoulders – Hey, everyone knew she was a crazy old bat, we were just humouring her. Here in NZ did TV1/TV3 even cover it? I presume there would have been some straight-forward copy of AP or Reuters commentary in the Herald.

    Instead this could have been used as a ‘teachable moment’ about the Antique Media all over the West – especially in asking how many other media figures knew of her particular beliefs and ignored them – and how many others have similar opinions but aren’t senile enough to let them slip.

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  2. big bruv (13,888 comments) says:

    A roast has nothing to do with it, while I agree that the comments were more than likely said in a humorous way can you imagine the outrage if a white comedian had stood up and talked about ‘niggers’ or ‘darkies’.

    The colour of this mas skin should not save him from the undoubted abuse a white man would have to endure had he said something as blatantly racist as this.

    Or…..is it only white people who can be racist in NZ?

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  3. Yvette (2,819 comments) says:

    Mel Gibson apparently is anti-Semetic – when the alcohol reveals the truth in conversation with traffic officers, and when one views THE PASSION OF CHRIST.

    However “I want to eat you, but I won’t because I don’t want to get HIV. Would you roast an HIV person? You’d roast them because they’re expendable. Like the Jews. Hitler had a right, you know.
    “You’ve all got f****** Aids, c****!” is pretty much non sensible drivel.
    I suppose ‘you had to be there’?

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  4. tvb (4,421 comments) says:

    It may have been a roast but the remarks were pretty offensive all the same. And not very clever or funny or wise. Basically an idiot. I would have walked out.

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  5. Paul Egerton (12 comments) says:

    No he should not apologise because (unlike Mel Gibson) he was not expressing his beliefs.

    Sorry Mel, not permitted to hold beliefs in New Zealand. Guess you’d better stay in USA where your right to hold, and express, beliefs is protected by law.

    Just what is it with this mania for apology?

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  6. homepaddock (408 comments) says:

    Deliberately offesnive? Yes. Bad taste? Yes. Humour? No. Best ignored? Yes.

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  7. Pete George (23,561 comments) says:

    Here in NZ did TV1/TV3 even cover it?

    Thomas retires after Israel remarks

    Helen Thomas ends White House career amid uproar

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  8. Grant Michael McKenna (1,159 comments) says:

    So if we have a roast for Fane I can say that niglets and brownies all have AIDS? Bullshit- the simple test is use the same terms and change the reference- if it is funny when used of others, it is funny, otherwise it is possibly funny and prejudiced. The HoS have only placed a small quote in their story, possibly without properly placing it in context. Maybe it was obvious that he wasn’t just playing bash the yid for laughs, but went at all different groups. Did he make a joke about a paedophile Muhammed, for example, or were the racist jokes restricted to insulting Jews?

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  9. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    Who cares what these useless tasteless losers have to say about anything? That they’re here in NZ is a sure enough sign they lack talent. A bunch of hookers, cock suckers, lamers, arse lickers, networkers and back stabbers. The Jewish Community should know better than to give such vermin any attention.

    ..and Tim G is right. They’re so vulgar and ignorant, they do not even know what the true meaning of “roast” is, and instead follow on with what ever shallow trend their knuckle dragging counterparts in other countries have begun, thereby making the occasion not an event where there is any heart warming humour or even comedic insults, but a display of witless ignorance that emphasises, beneath all the make up and the publicity and the fawning of their brainless acolytes, just how shallow and stupid these people actually are.

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  10. Manolo (13,767 comments) says:

    “Or…..is it only white people who can be racist in NZ?”

    Yes, Maori or dark-coloured people can insult anyone at their heart’s content, e.g., the thug Harawira.
    The liberals and the press look the other way if the offender is of a different ethnicity. This theory has been proven many times over.

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  11. Thomas the Unbeliever (141 comments) says:

    A roast is supposed to be comedic. Just because someone claims to earn their living as a professional comedian does not make their every utterance comedic. I have laughed at David Fane’s work – but like a lot of comedians much of it was just not funny! Even worse … much of what NZ comedians perform was clearly never going to be funny.

    Most people don’t get paid to toss just any old work quality out there … in the vain hope that at least a small fraction of that work output is not complete crap. However, that seems to be the modus operandi for NZ comedians (and politicians). They would be better advised to first prepare good material (i.e. funny) then perform that material once it is polished. Not perform material hoping some of it will be funny. That preparation and polishing – and the ability to critique your own work – distinguishes the professional from the amateur.

    David Fane’s crime (if any) was that he was performing with the intention of being funny ….. and failed dismally. To determine that he is anti-semitic or homophonic or aid-phobic based on his comments is misdirected. He was just another amateur stand-up comedian, failing badly and in public. Such failure is forgivable for a pissed amateur – but not in someone who claims that this is his principal occupation.

    If David Fane is to apologise for anything … it is for failing to be funny.

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  12. Yvette (2,819 comments) says:

    It would be nice to have a little more perspective – like ‘exclusive Northern Club, an audience including Jason Gunn, Mike Hosking, Kate Hawkesby and John Tamihere, high profile inaugural media event’, so just how much did it cost to get in, and would people go home feeling good, thinking “Hey, that was really enjoyable, well worth the money and I’ll cherish the entertainment of that for a while”?

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  13. tom hunter (4,838 comments) says:

    So let’s see if I’ve got this right Pete. I asked what TV1/TV3 and the Herald said at the time about Thomas and then commented that:

    I presume there would have been some straight-forward copy of AP or Reuters commentary in the Herald.

    ….and your response was to supply links to TV1 and TV3 that are, in turn,……….. re-prints of AP / Reuters. Thanks a lot.

    Maybe the Herald was different after all and quoted from the WaPo or one of your other US faves.

    What I was focusing on (as I’m sure you well know) was what they actually broadcast on their 6pm news – far more the point than what they re-print on their websites.

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  14. Michael (909 comments) says:

    Tongue-in-cheek insults are fine, but saying Hitler was right to commit genocide and wishing he’d also singled out advertising executives is very offensive. Imagine the outrage Fane would have if someone had suggested all Pacific Islanders should be exterminated? And that all Samoan’s are transexuals?

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  15. francis (712 comments) says:

    So how did the audience react?

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  16. Put it away (2,878 comments) says:

    Michael – have you ever seen bro town? These guys take the piss out of their own kind non-stop. I got no beef with this guy, he can take it is well as give it.

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  17. alex Masterley (1,517 comments) says:

    I don’t see anything humourous about what Fane said.
    I’ve been to a number of roasts in a long dubious career, and while many speakers have plumbed the depths, Fane has set a new mark that won’t be matched again.

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  18. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Not even close to what a roast should be. I have a strong constitution for sick jokes, the ones that many people cringe at and you wouldn’t tell in most situations, but this is not remotely funny and is a case of extremely poor judgment.

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  19. backster (2,171 comments) says:

    Disgusting and gutless. It makes me wonder what kind of weirdos the members of the Northern Club must be to sit there and listen to it.

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  20. Yvette (2,819 comments) says:

    Bro’Town creator apologises
    9:30am
    NZPA Fane said: “I wish to formally apologise for my offensive remarks, and am deeply troubled by the association of TV3 and my employers to the statements. I was quoted out of context in the article.” – stuff.co

    No, this just doesn’t cut it. Carter said sorry at least 23 times and admitted he’d played the Gay card and we still don’t believe him.

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  21. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    Mel was seriously pissed but didn’t use this as an excuse for his behaviour .

    Fane seriously unfunny. The point of a roast is to roast the subject with humour on the subjects life and peccidillos, a rant about Hitler and Aids has bugger all to do with anything.

    Having watched the so called celebrity roasts on Comedy Central (and they have all be very sad anyway) I can imgaine how well this tirade would go down in the States ( anti Jewish and slurring gays) You would never work again over there, look as Michael Richards (Kramer ) for saying Niggers

    The media here relys on advertising , so get up there and call them(ad agency bosses) motherfuckers and saying they all have Aids is sheer bloody genius.

    Deliberately offensive but no humour

    .

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  22. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Comedy is like cooking… you can over cook it or you can under cook it.. The point of celebrity roasts is to over cook it.
    So if you like comedy under-cooked to medium-rear don’t attend celebrity roasts… you will be offended.

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  23. reid (16,454 comments) says:

    Yeah I think people are being a bit precious in the same vein of those people who banned Noddy because of Gollywog and the strange relationship with Big Ears were being a bit precious.

    I’ve always thought it a bit odd myself that the Germans are the only ones who actually have a word describing people who laugh at other’s misfortunes, because when you think about it, that is a very universal trait. Or is that being anti-German?

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  24. ldcroberts (1 comment) says:

    It was a roast, sure mock the people there. But when he directly mentions any minority group and comments directly on them, he is attacking that minority whether he realises it or not, and off topic for a roast.
    I think anyone who has mixed with a wide variety of people has heard jokes or stereotypes or hate speech about different minorities – but most will have the decency not to encourage it, or repeat it, or even bring it to the attention of others – particularly those who would be disadvantaged by it being believed as true by others.
    It is a shame the media reports it as it then ends up that everyone who belongs to those minorities gets a chance to get hurt by it, and then judge whether the subsequent apology is enough for themselves. Its a shame this sort of news sells – it’s like people rubbernecking at traffic accidents, or school kids gathering round a fight, or how seaguls all descend en-masse where someone is throwing a couple of bits of bread.
    I think Redbaiters comments above are designed to hurt NZ’ers. Like the south african newspaper did a week ago. I guess an alternative where reporters are limited in how they report news is not desireable, but it makes me think there is an opportunity for a more mature news site that filters and reports things in a more balanced way.
    Headlines that scream about anti-semetic attacks are quite different from saying that a comedian at a private function said a couple of tasteless things that fell flat and they aren’t worth repeating, but as it is everyone wants to hear it for themselves to understand why others are getting so upset about it.
    It’s even possible that the media got hold of the story from someone who held prejudices that made them not like the comedian and seized on that comment as a stick to beat him with. Who knows.

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  25. Johnboy (16,554 comments) says:

    Hell I always wondered who Luc Hansen really was. David Fane, what a surprise!

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  26. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Now this is bad taste funny….Derek and Clive (Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) meet online gaming. (Warning, contains offensive language, suicide themes, ageist themes and sexual references)

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  27. BlairM (2,339 comments) says:

    I honestly can’t work out why anyone would want to be anti-semitic…. when God gave us the French and the Afrikaaners :-D

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  28. CharlieBrown (1,012 comments) says:

    Can anyone tell me why the hell would anyone expect his employers to apologise? Was he acting on behalf of his employers? Was this even a “work” function? It would a mockery of the words “apology” and “sorry” if his employers were to do so… just like NZ politicians apologising on behalf of “NZ” for bad things early settlers did to maori.

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  29. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    I’m all for offensiveness in the pursuit of humour (South Park et al).

    In this case however Fane didn’t pursue humour. He didn’t even get up out of his lazy intellectual armchair and follow it a few steps down the road before running out of puff. Humour wasn’t even visible on the horizon. His remarks are “funny” in the way some bogan thinks mooning you with his bare arse out a car window is funny.

    Given that, it’s not the Jews who ought to be taking offence. It’s the taxpayers who’ve subsidised his intellectual laziness for far too long via NZ On Air, and the shareholders in TV3’s parent (assuming the channel was daft enough to pay him anything).

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  30. Yvette (2,819 comments) says:

    Bro’Town star resigns over remarks
    One of the creators of the iconic television show Bro’Town has resigned over racist and homophobic remarks he made at a media event in Auckland on Wednesday.
    David Fane, who earlier apologised for his remarks and admitted he was intoxicated, has announced his resignation from TV3 and the Radio Network, saying he would rather resign than face being fired.
    “I wanted to announce that I am resigning from my positions in TV and Radio effectively immediately,” Fane told NZPA.
    “I would rather announce this than face the embarrassment of being fired without having the chance to bow out gracefully.

    – stuff.co.nz

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  31. J Mex (190 comments) says:

    What Rex said. (4:17)

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  32. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    TV3 is desperately trying to save it’s asset whose value took about seven minutes to depreciate 100% the other night.

    Apparently his resignation now is being spun as a ‘hoax’ by NZPA et al.

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Fane-resignation-a-hoax/tabid/423/articleID/163020/Default.aspx#top

    These guys must be using Lyen Brown’s media advisers.

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  33. GNZ (228 comments) says:

    Yeah, it wasnt funny etc etc…
    but people need to get over it.

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  34. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Righto GNZ, that’s you and DPF who don’t mind that your NZ On Air tax is paying someone who’s obviously a complete cock with no sense of humour, no restraint, no sense of decorum and an enormous sense of entitlement.

    So I won’t expect a peep out of either of you when NZOA funds the “Shane Jones Half Hour” then? :-D

    It’s not what he slurred all over his fellow luvvies when he was pissed that’s the issue. It’s that he’s demonstrated a vacuum of talent and yet is clamped, with so many others of a similar level, to the public teat.

    [DPF: There are two issues here. The first is of what he did as a private comedian at a roast. While he may have been unfunny and offensive that does not mean he needs to apologise for perceived racism or anti-semitism.

    Whether he should be funded by NZ on Air for his on air comedy is another issue. I've never seen him, so wouldn't know]

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  35. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    NZ On Air. That would be right. Another fucking hopeless communist crock of shit.

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  36. Murray (8,847 comments) says:

    Fane fucked up and he knows it. It was entirely apropriate for him to appologise and hes done so.

    He clearly feels like crap about it and with good cause.

    What is disturbing is that expressing such sentiments is becoming obviously acceptable to so many people. Happliy Fane isn;t one of them and I doubt he’ll do it again.

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  37. American Gardener (556 comments) says:

    “No he should not apologise because (unlike Mel Gibson) he was not expressing his beliefs.” – so why should he apologize for his beliefs ?

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  38. ben (2,380 comments) says:

    To paraphrase: “While we wish to preserve the rights to freedom of speech we don’t really wish to preserve the rights to freedom of speech.” Too precious, by half.

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  39. Colonel Masters (409 comments) says:

    “Top TV star” is pushing it a bit, isn’t it?

    I had never heard of the guy.

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  40. cabbage (455 comments) says:

    Fane Fucked up, and he well knows it.

    His apology was perhaps the most astounding thing I have seen on TV in quite some time. It was astounding because what I saw was genuine remorse, genuine humility and genuine shame.

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  41. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “I had never heard of the guy.”

    Neither had I. Who the hell listens to radio or watches TV or bothers with popular culture today anyway other than the tasteless mindless minions of socialism?

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  42. GPT1 (2,122 comments) says:

    Ah, the wowsers strike again.

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  43. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    (Maori / Coloured races / homosexuals) jokes = perfectly reasonable. Complaining about them is PC gone mad.

    (Jew) jokes = hideous, a travesty. Not PC at all to complain about these.

    And look at this thread for confirmation of the above. The blinkered partiality of the political right never ceases to amaze.

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  44. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    Murray:

    I’d have to agree. He goes a long way to redeeming himself and seems genuinely ashamed (as he should be). I don’t resile from my comments that his sense of “humour” strongly suggests NZ On Air needs to review its funding criteria. I do, however, think calling him a cock was probably uncalled for, so withdraw and apologise.

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  45. Sarkozygroupie (207 comments) says:

    “They consist of comedians going out of their way to be as offensive as possible to the guests and audience. What Fane said there is mild in comparison to some of the celebrity roasts on TV.”

    If that’s what passes as artistic merit and intelligent discourse these days, then you can have it. ‘Humour’ that relies on shock tactics and offence is lazy, base and fails trying to pass itself off under the guise of “art”.

    Offence is offence, no matter how you try to dress it up and excuse it by calling it a ‘roast’ and making out it’s funny. Telling people they should not be offended because it was ‘comedy’ is ridiculous. Comedy is not untouchable, and why should it be put on a pedestal? And neither are all comedians hilariously funny just because they call themselves that on their job description.

    David Fane wasn’t funny; he was just a rambling drunk idiot that was obviously so pissed he couldn’t even string a coherent sentence together. Where was the “humour” in that?

    Give me Sir Humphrey and his sharp intelligent wit anyday.

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