It was a roast!

The HoS reports:

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

David Fane, 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 humour 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 anti-semitism, racism etc.

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