Air New Zealand has said it will pull Jonah from Tonga from its in-flight entertainment.
The six part series, produced by Australia’s ABC and sold to HBO worldwide, features a white 39 year old Australian, Chris Lilley, playing the role of a 14 year old criminal, profane ‘Tongan’ boy.
The series was widely called racist by a range of US civil rights groups, the Washington Post, The Guardian, and many others. Just today, the Huffington Post ran a feature on the show entitled: ‘HBO Offends Entire Country After Jonah From Tonga Uses Brownface’.
Air New Zealand had been running the show, even on flights to and from Tonga.
There was a social media movement asking Air New Zealand to cease airing the show. Some of those who wrote in recently received a reply from Air New Zealand that read: “I would like to apologise for any offence that may have been caused by the screening of Jonah from Tonga onboard out aircraft. Our in-flight entertainment team have reviewed this and it will be removed from our aircraft in September as each aircraft is updated.”