Fan outrage as 'racist' Bluey episodes pulled from TV

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·Lifestyle & Entertainment Producer
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Fans have taken social media to share their outrage after two episodes of Bluey were removed from the ABC due to a term that has been deemed as racist being included in the episodes.

The 'Teasing' and 'Flat Pack' episodes of the show were removed from ABC iView because they “included a term with racial connotations and a problematic history for Indigenous Australians".

Bluey fans have taken to social media to express their anger after the ABC took down two episodes of the show for including a racist term. Photo: ABC
Bluey fans have taken to social media to express their anger after the ABC took down two episodes of the show for including a racist term. Photo: ABC

The episodes featured the term "ooga booga", and now, due to complaints from fans, the ABC is trying to rework them.

Fans took to Reddit after the removal of the two episodes after realising 'Teasing' and 'Flat Pack' were gone.

One user took to Reddit, writing, "If the 'ooga booga' scene was censored and re-dubbed in 'Flat Pack,' Bandit's nickname given by Bluey and Bingo in 'Teasing' was also 'ooga booga.' Perhaps that's the connection to 'Teasing' being pulled?"

In response, another fan said, "Am I missing something? What is wrong with Ooga Booga? Disney is absolutely being ridiculous."

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Others took to social media, questioning the same thing. One user wrote, "Can someone explain to me how ‘ooga booga’ is racist?"

Another added, "Can’t people just enjoy Bluey as a wholesome cartoon?"

Someone else shared the reason why the word is offensive in a Bluey fan page on Facebook, speaking from personal experience.

They wrote, "I know to many you just see this word as 'caveman speak', or in the harmless way the writers clearly did too."

"But not everyone sees it that way. Including me. I’m in my 40’s, and I well remember a time growing up in Western Sydney where the phrase ‘Ooga Booga/s’ was used conversationally to describe a dark skinned person/s. It was used in social circles, in movies or TV depicting black indigenous people as ‘uncivilised fools."

Bluey's 'Teasing' and 'Flat Pack' episodes of the show were removed from ABC iView because they “included a term with racial connotations and a problematic history for Indigenous Australians". Photo: ABC
Bluey's 'Teasing' and 'Flat Pack' episodes of the show were removed from ABC iView because they “included a term with racial connotations and a problematic history for Indigenous Australians". Photo: ABC

They continued, "I personally balked at hearing it used in Teasing , but never said anything because I thought it was maybe just me."

Others were glad to learn the lesson, "Learn something every day, banning this word in our house now! Well done to OP/ABC/Bluey team for standing up and doing something about casual racism and educating us," one user wrote.

"Oh dear god my children say it all the time thanks to show! I honestly believe, once you know, you do better!" another added.

Someone else agreed, "Didn’t even know it was an offensive term. I use it all the time with daughter when she blows her nose, telling her we need to get her ‘ooga boogas’. Now that I know it is an offensive word, we will change the term we use."

The ABC issued an apology over the racist term being used on the show, saying, "The ABC sincerely apologised to the complainant for any distress caused by the term used in the episode titled ‘Teasing’.

"The ABC has a strong record for giving voice to Indigenous Australians and an ongoing commitment to helping reduce discrimination and prejudice and in this case, the language used was inadvertent."

They continued, "The complainant was advised that neither the ABC nor the external producers were aware of the potentially derogatory meaning of the term, which was intended only as irreverent rhyming slang often made up by children.

"The episode was removed from iview as soon as ABC KIDS became aware of the complaint and the ABC undertook to change the dialogue prior to future broadcast or publication."

‘Flat Pack’ is now available to watch again, while ‘Teasing’ will return next month.

The ABC has been contacted for comment.

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