Chris Lilley Hits Back At Claims His New Netflix Show Is Racist

2 min read

Viewers are “disturbed”. 

When Chris Lilley's new show Lunatics aired on Netflix many were excited to see more of his iconic characters and relatable AF content. 

And this?

But not everyone was too thrilled with Lilley's new characters.

He received some heavy criticism from viewers who labelled the series as racist, but Lilley has spoken out in defence of his characters.

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Lunatics comes to Netflix on April 19

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Speaking to The Weekend Australia on Sunday the actor says he's "not trying to do the thing that is trendy at the moment".

"When you meet them, you think 'I know that type of person' but then there is a twist, something crazy.

"[In] the end you think 'Actually, I kinda relate to this, she just did that thing that I do every day.'" 

He says the moral of Lunatics is that "everyone is a little bit weird".

The official synopsis reads: 

"As eccentric and odd as they all are, they are scarily recognisable types and they teach us that it’s OK to just be you."

One of the controversial characters whom Lilley plays that sparked outrage is Jana, a South African woman with tanned skin and an Afro wig. 

Viewers have gone as far as to cancel their Netflix subscription after watching Lunatics, and were disturbed to see Lilley in blackface:

"Hi @NetflixANZ, As a longtime subscriber, I'm disturbed that I'm forced to watch Chris Lilley's 'Lunatics' everytime I log in."

This isn't the first time Lilley has been called out for darkening his skin tone to play a character. It occurred when he played Jonah Takalua, a Tongan teenager in the hit series Summer Heights High and for his role as US rapper S.Mouse in Angry Boys.


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Written By Christina Cavaleri