Chris Lilley facing social media backlash over 'racist' Jonah From Tonga

Chris Lilley as Jonah (Supplied)

A new television show by Australian comedian Chris Lilley has been criticised as racist and offensive by members of the Tongan community.

An ABC1 mockumentary about the adventures of a rebellious 14-year-old Pacific Islander boy has been slammed by Australia's Tongan community.

Jonah from Tonga, the brainchild of comedian Chris Lilley, who depicts the titualar character in blackface, has been labelled racist and degrading towards Polynesian people.

Numerous viewers have taken to social media to express outrage over the show following its debut last week, many using the #MyNameIsNOTJonah hashtag.

"This post is to Stand up to the stereotypes of how Pacific Islanders are being perceived as within the TV show #JonahFromTonga," Leitu Havea wrote under her Instagram post.

"I could go on about how much passion I feel about this movement, but I think the sign speaks for itself; so join the movement! #MyNameIsNOTJonah #ChangeStartsHere #ProudPoly."

Instagram user Salote Taukalau had a similar message in her post.

"I am a proud Tongan," she wrote. "I've never been suspended. And I've never been to prison. And I'm in my final year studying towards my Bachelor Degree."

But some took to Twitter to defend the show.

What do you think? Is Lilley's portrayal of Johan racist? Tweet @SBSNews to join the conversation.

Source SBS

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