Stereotypes and Speaking Back to New Zealand’s Dominant Culture

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In the lecture Dick Whyte talked about Melanie Wall and some of the stereotypes about Maori that have appeared in New Zealand media. One stereotype that I found interesting was ‘Maori as the comic other’ Wall talks about Maori being the comic Other as not such a bad thing as she references Billy T. James the iconic comedian. “Billy T. James was the quintessence of the contemporary comic Other and helped to foster the growth of a so called ‘indigenous comedy’…” (Wall, Melanie (1997). Stereotypical Constructions of the Maori ‘Race’ in the Media.) However Wall then goes on to explain that this ‘good’ stereotype is not so good. The comic Other has forever changed the way that we will see Maori and not in a nice way, many people loved Billy T. James but there were probably just as many that did not because of the way that he portrayed Maori. As harmless as it seemed it has forever tainted the way that New Zealand will see Maori. 



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