• Rabbit Hop films/Vimeo. (Rabbit Hop films/Vimeo.)Source: Rabbit Hop films/Vimeo.
A number of organisations have quickly disavowed the content of a video taken at a charity day depicting blackface.
By
Robert Burton-Bradley

15 Jun 2017 - 4:36 PM  UPDATED 15 Jun 2017 - 5:40 PM

A video from a charity day showing blackface and people dressed up in traditional Mexican outfits has surfaced online.

The video is for the Moree 2400 bash golf car day in NSW which is an annual event that raises money for the children’s charity Variety.

The video, which was taken down after NITV News made inquiries, opens with a man in a golfing hat welcoming the viewer. It then cuts to four people dressed as boxers wearing black face and afro wigs.

Later on a trio dressed up as Mexicans, complete with sombreros, ponchos, Cuban cigars and long black moustaches and with ammunition belts draped over their shoulders, engage in a mock wild west gunslinger shoot out.

The group  then tries to sneak over a pretend US border post as illegal immigrants, before border guards hold them at gun point and pat them down.

They are refused entry and end up drinking tequila and margaritas under a Mexican flag.

Then it cuts back to man in more blackface, that looks drawn on with dark green pen, in a hoodie being arrested by US officers in what appears to be a reference to the Black Lives matter movement.

Cricketer Merv Hughes and other sporting celebrities are also featured in the video although not in the scenes described above.

There are other teams dressed as beer bottles, ninja turtles, as Donald Trump, and women dressed in bunny rabbit ears.Rabbit Hop Media/Vimeo

The filmmaker who created the video, Sascha Estens, defended its contents.

“I’m struggling to see the negative, there’s no one being racist in what they’re doing, it’s a really good, generous bunch of people,” she told NITV News.

Ms Estens said the year in question people had come in blackface and other outfits because of the death of boxer Muhammad Ali, and US President Donald Trump’s then call for a wall to stop Mexican migrants.       

“Nobody looked at it as an issue because it was a current event, nobody was being racially charged at all because of it – people aren’t particularly racist on the issue,” she said.

The Aboriginal Employment Strategy which was listed as a sponsor said it had been a supporter of the event in the past, but was not involved in the 2016 event shown in the video.

“The AES however was not a sponsor in 2016 – the year captured in the below video. The AES does not support conduct of individuals that encourages, promotes or represents racial stereotyping or other offensive behaviour,” a spokeswoman told NITV News.

Variety head of communications Mick Garnett told NITV News the video was nothing to do with the charity and was not something it endorsed.

“The event was in no way associated with Variety, it was people who are external to our organisation who were raising money in order for them to enter our variety bash,” he said.

“What was depicted in the video is not consistent in any way with our principles and our values.”

Sponsors listed at the end of the video also included NAB Agribusiness, Aboriginal Employment Strategy, KPMG and Qantas.

Ms Estens said the event was one of goodwill and she hoped people realised it was a positive thing that raised money for charity.

 “It’s people that are pretty generous, each year it raises a lot of money and it should be looked at as a positive event, I hope that you see bigger picture in what the day does.”

She said the film was a pro bono production for the event which she said had raised more than $55,000 for charity.