Celebrities

The Internet is losing it over Red Symons' latest interview

By Stephanie Nuzzo June 16, 2017

The Australian media personality caused a few raised eyebrows when he asked the guest on his show some, er, odd questions

A podcast interview between Red Symons and Beverly Wang is making headlines today because of some fairly curious questions that popped up throughout. 

Symons was speaking to Wang about her new podcast It’s Not A Race when he shared that he had hoped to cover some fairly similar content on his own show (Wang’s podcast describes itself as “A podcast sharing stories, experiences and perspectives on race and identity from all Australians”). 

“Except my segment was called ‘What’s the deal with Asians?’” Symons said. 

“What is the deal with Asians, Red?” Wang replied. 

“No, I ask the questions. What’s the deal with Asians? It’s just a useful, general question about the nature of our culture, and how one should interact with people who have a different cultural background,” Symons continued. 

He then reportedly went on to ask her:

“Are you yellow?”

From there, the interview only continued to deteriorate into a strange and offensive exchange where Symons assumed Wang was from the west coast of Canada “because it’s closer to Asia”, told Wang that because she is from Canada “you were probably named ‘Jenny’ when you were born” and attempted to argue that the controversial blackface Jackson Five performance that played out on Hey, Hey It’s Saturday in 2009 was only “alleged to be blackface”

Here’s how that last part of the conversation went:

“I remember thinking at the time that it had become uncomfortable because Harry Connick Jr felt most uncomfortable with someone wearing what is alleged to be blackface,” said Symons.

“Why is it alleged to be blackface?” replied Wang.

“Well, because there was white face and there was brown face and there was black face. There was a variety of faces,” argued Symons.

“Sure, but it wasn’t ‘alleged’ blackface. The make-up is there. It’s definitely black make-up,” said Wang.

“And there is apparently a blanket caveat against that?” asked Symons.

So... yep. Do with that what you will. 

It appears the link to the podcast is no longer live, but that hasn’t stopped Twitter from voicing its opinion on the interview:

If you'd like to hear more about the controversial Hey, Hey It's Saturday performance, which Harry Connick Jr famously gave a score of zero, check out Beverly Wang's podcast here.

Cringe, cringe, cringe at all of the above. 

Images: ABC, YouTube