Saturday, May 26, 2007

Maori stories

I've been following the TVNZ story with a building sense of 'Rick Ellis said what?' astonishment.

But the debate that followed has frustrated me, because it is so superficial. I agree that showing Maori stories on television is really important (and Norm Hewitt on Dancing with the Stars isn't going to cut it, haka or no). But the executive producer on Shortland St argued that Shortland St was telling Maori stories because two of the CEOs have been Maori.

I'm sure there are many Maori on police 10-7 and Locked Down (a series about Rimutka prison). That's because our racist police and justice system disproportionately beat-up and lock-up Maori much more frequently than Pakeha. There's an important Maori story to tell in there, but it's not going to be told in those shows, because they're told from the perspective of the police and the prison guards.

As long as we live in a racist society Maori stories will include being beaten up by police far more than being CEOs. Television is unlikely to tell the story of police racism, from the victims perspective, but it'd be nice if someone could point out the gap.

1 comment:

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