• The Daily Show host Trevor Noah attends the Comedy Central Press Day on May 23, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Rich Polk)
After exposing an old clip in which South African comedian Trevor Noah makes fun of the appearance of Aboriginal women, ex-NRL player Joe Williams has urged him to apologise.
By
Madeline Hayman-Reber

23 Jul 2018 - 1:29 PM  UPDATED 27 Jul 2018 - 9:29 AM

 

Outrage has been building online against South African comedian and The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, following a clip dating back to 2013 where he makes derogatory jokes about Aboriginal women.

In the clip, which has now been taken down on every known platform, Mr Noah starts by critiquing the appearance of our women.

“All women of every race can be beautiful, and I know some of you are sitting there now going, ‘oh Trevor, yeah, but I’ve never seen a beautiful Aborigine’. Yeah, but you know what you say? You say ‘yet’, that’s what you say - ‘yet’. Because you haven’t seen all of them, right?”

He then continues by making offensive sexual connotations, punctuated by imitating the sounds of a didgeridoo while making gestures of oral sex.

“Plus it’s not always about looks, maybe Aborigine women do special things, maybe they’ll just like, jump on top of you," he said to a roaring, mostly white, audience.

And it's not the first time he's been under fire; in 2012 he tweeted that "originally when men proposed they went down on one knee so if the woman said no they were in the perfect uppercut position."

His fans did not take kindly to it, saying they were 'embarrassed for him', some calling him disgusting and unfunny, while many others praised him.

But the latest outrage comes ahead of his Australian tour, which people are now calling to boycott, after a video of the incident was posted on Twitter by music photographer LaVonne Bobongie, who created the hashtag #boycotttrevornoahinoz.

It was then picked up by several other Twitter users, including former-NRL player Joe Williams.

Mr Williams posted the video writing: "Hey , your comments about Aboriginal in this clip are utterly unacceptable! As a man of colour, you are usually in point with racism & divide - here you are perpetrating & encouraging racial abuse!!"

Mr Noah responded to Mr Williams defending himself, but not directly apologising.

" you're right. After visiting Australia's Bunjilaka museum and learning about aboriginal history first hand I vowed never to make a joke like that again. And I haven't. I'll make sure the clip from 2013 is not promoted in any way," the tweet reads.

Mr Williams said he was disappointed with the response but happy he responded at all.

"I just thought it was disgusting. Here we are, we're fighting an uphill battle around the country and around the world to find non-coloured allies, and the first people you'd expect to be in our corner are the people of coloured backgrounds! And now he comes out with a poorly executed what he calls 'joke' to ridicule and, again, dismantle coloured people," Mr Williams told NITV News.

"And on the back of what we just had was a fantastic NAIDOC Week with the theme of 'Because Of Her We Can', which was all about honouring women right across the country, and then this?"

Mr Williams said previously he admired Mr Noah, which made the discovery all the more disappointing.

He offered to introduce the comedian to some Aboriginal women to see how they feel about it first hand, and urged him to apologise.

"This is about doing the right thing. I may have jumped on it and pulled him up or called him out for this kind of stuff, but he's got to face the women. He can apologise to me all he wants but it doesn't affect me. They affect the women of our communities," Mr Williams said.

"I'd be happy to put my hand out being the person that exposed it as such, to coordinate that, but at the end of the day, when he's out here meeting with some Aboriginal people and some Aboriginal women first and foremost, I think is the way to go."

Mr Noah appears to have accepted his invitation, tweeting back to Mr Williams: "I'd love to visit another community in Oz Joe. Always open to learning more (praying hands emoji)"

Other Twitter users, including many Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women, have overwhelmingly expressed their disgust in the comedian.

Kurnai/Gunai, Gunditjmara, Wiradjuri and Yorta Yorta activist and writer Nayuka Gorrie didn't hold back. She heavily criticised the legacy of western beauty standards in contemporary society. 

Goorie/Koori poet and activist Evelyn Araluen said that the comedian was 'cancelled'.

Writer and actor Nakkiah Lui gave Mr Noah a list of reasons as to why she was special as an Aboriginal woman.

And Author Anita Heiss called upon Australians to boycott his upcoming shows in Australia.

But perhaps the most disturbing thing was when Twitter users like Meriki Onus began to dig up his other controversial tweets.

NITV has reached out to Mr Noah's publicity team for comment.

Follow the author @MadelineHayman

RELATED CONTENT
'Dear Trevor Noah': an open letter from an Aboriginal woman
Writer and academic, Summer May Finlay responds to Trevor Noah's comedy routine about Aboriginal women.