Controversial Australian satirist, Chris Lilley, has made headlines today upon announcing his new comedy programme based on Jamal Khashoggi, ‘Jamal, Private School Girl.’
Whilst Lilley seems buoyant about the programme’s potential, many have pointed out that not only is the premise incredibly insensitive to Khashoggi and his family, it is also a little odd to be telling a cliched private-school story through the lens of a dissident Saudi journalist.
The show will be airing at 8.30pm, Wednesdays, on the ABC, and already the ABC Facebook page has been flooded with complaints. Having said that, many of those complaints to seem to have been by Saudi bots, with comments such as ‘jAmaL was a TRAI3TOR! How dare yo7, Australian Boardcasting Corporation!’ joining the ranks of boomer comments, such as ‘Sick! Waste of taxpayer money! That Lilley bloke is a flog!’
Further stoking the flames of controversy, Lilley has announced he will be playing Khashoggi in ‘racial makeup,’ and also cross-dressing as a woman to fulfil the ‘private school girl’ role.
At this point, it truly just seems like Lilley is trying to get himself in the most trouble he can.
In response to many of the criticisms levelled, Lilley suggested ‘...just let comedy be comedy and fun be fun, y’know? Why do we have to politicize everything, it’s a joke.’ This conveniently ignores the fact the very character he’s satirizing is inherently political, but hey, we didn’t write Summer Heights High (although that article we did about Matt Damon’s ‘A Star Is Bourne’ comes bloody close in the context of intellectual genius).
Regardless, we’ll probably be watching the show when it debuts. Good luck, Chris. We truly hope you aren’t assassinated.