Karl Stefanovic Has Apologised For His Racist Comments With A Little More Light-Hearted Racism

Oh, Karl...

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Well, it was fun while it lasted. Karl Stefanovic’s unexpected wave of laudable progressive achievements and fleeting journalistic integrity has crashed, with comments made on air yesterday that showed he’s still the clumsy, awkward dad you’ve always known him as.

When interviewing some Indian cricket fans before the World Cup semi-final against Australia, Stefanovic asked who would be manning 7-Elevens during the match, before an excellent human named Kartik came straight back at him with this zinger: “I’m not sure about who’s going to be manning 7-Elevens but you might have to look at Centrelink as well I think, Karl.”

He then went on to call the NZ cricket fans “the dole bludger army”.

Despite a considerable backlash to all this on the Today Facebook page, Twitter and various media outlets, Stefanovic powered on, making light of his comments for the rest of the day in a way that didn’t really help at all.

Predictably, many took offence with this characterisation of Indian people. Bhakthi Puvanenthiran and Joal Meares of Fairfax criticised Stefanovic for his broad characterisation of the race by listing a large bunch of successful Indians who manage to do other things with their time.

“Karl, you might be interested to know it won’t just be Slurpee machines that will stand cold and unattended, with Indians drawn, as if by innate natural force, to the cricket,” they wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald. “Other posts will be sadly abandoned today, and some of them don’t involve exchanging cash for Magnums.”

The New Zealand media were also quick to judgement, pointing out that Stefanovic was just straight-up wrong about Kiwi expats. NZ citizens — like me! — can freely live, work and pay tax in Australia, but they aren’t eligible to receive support from Centrelink.

On today’s show, Stefanovic delivered an apology to all those he offended. It started off pretty well, with the morning show host admitting his sense of humour was “misguided” — but then things quickly descended into bestiality jokes and cheeky smiles.

Then, in an attempt to voice some of the concerns of his NZ viewers, he launched into a reading of various complaints on their Facebook page. He expressed surprise that they can write at all, tried out a bunch of cringeworthy accents, and then the panel decided the complaints were “lame” because they weren’t good enough for “Mean Tweets”.

The show was then rounded out as Karl faced off against a haka, then ate a spicy curry, asked if anyone had a Slurpee and walked off set as the camera shook with laughter.


Definitely Not Racist: Exhibit A

Oh, Karl…