Say what you want about the state of free-to-air television in Australia, you can’t say it’s without drama. Whether it’s Zumbo crumbling under ratings pressure or Channel Nine being sued for a stunt gone wrong, there’s never a dull moment. And today is no different.
Nine’s The Block aired an episode on Sunday night to an audience of close to 1.3 million, in which a contestant covered her face with what looked like traditional Aboriginal face paint, and claimed she was from “the tired tribe of apartment five”.
The contestant in question was Kim, a 32-year-old school teacher, who appears on the reality show alongside husband Chris, a police detective. You can catch the scene at around the 22:45 minute mark here.
UPDATE: A Nine spokesperson told B&T, “Kim got a splash of paint on her face and simply decided to paint the rest of it. Her actions were, in no way, intended to cause offence. If anyone has been offended by her actions, we unreservedly apologise.”
The incident almost managed to slip under the radar, until one Facebook user caught on to the dodgy bit of telly and brought it to everyone’s attention.
And from there, Twitter jumped into the conversation:
— Nakkiah Lui (@nakkiahlui) October 17, 2016
— Alexi -Human- (@ZombiLexi) October 17, 2016
Here we go again this time on The Block. Casual racism is disgusting and this should have never found its way out of the edit room. pic.twitter.com/UydlqxGeRp
— Ryan Griffen (@RyanJGriffen) October 17, 2016
…and that’s what you get for watching ‘The Block’.
— BRIGGS AKA BIG SIGH (@BriggsGE) October 17, 2016
— Unity Fashion (@unityfashionau) October 17, 2016