"Is everyone supposed to come as Eminem?" The Today Show weigh in on blackface controversy.

Whether or not ‘blackface‘ is appropriate to wear to a costume party has again dominated debate over the weekend.

Controversy has raged ever since a local Victorian football/netball club, the Frankston Bombers, posted images of players dressed as ‘rappers’ to their public Instagram page. Many players donned dreadlock wigs, covered themselves with fake tattoos and painted their bodies black for the club function, which was ‘iPod Shuffle’ themed. The club have since publicly apologised.

This morning, Today co-host Lisa Wilkinson tackled with topic with the Today Extra hosts, Sonia Kruger and David Campbell, asking the pair “Would you call this racist?”

Do you find this racist? (Image: Frankston Bombers Instagram)

There did seem to be some confusion within the panel, however, who thought the theme was not 'iPod Shuffle', but 'favourite rappers'. Whether blackface is racist, Kruger didn't seem too sure, hinting that a theme that asked the players to dress up as their 'favourite rappers' didn't give them much choice.

'Do you know what, Dave and I were talking about this. If you have a party and you come as your favourite rap artist, is everyone supposed to come as Eminem or Vanilla Ice? Do you know what I mean?'

“Yeah, I think it’s in poor taste, but to have a party like that you’ve got to expect that sort of dress up, don’t you?” the 50-year-old mum asked her colleagues.

“Look, we keep going on about this because apparently there’s a generation of people that just still don’t get the fact that black face isn’t ok," Campbell replied, adding that blacking your face is "a stupid thing to do.”

“They’ve set themselves up with this party," he said of the 'iPod Shuffle' theme, commenting that the majority of the partygoers were presumably white and, in his opinion, given little choice in the matter. “So their option is ‘Do I black up or not?’” 

sonia kruger muslim comments
“So their option is ‘Do I black up or not?’”  (Image: Channel 9)

Kruger and Campbell both seemed at a loss as to what someone should do if their favourite musician has dark skin.

“What if your favourite hip hop artist is…" Sonia started.

“Kendrick Lamar." Campbell interjected.


“Or it is Kanye?" Kruger asked.

But it seemed Campbell arrived at a conclusion. That is, if you are going are going to wear black face, he suggests doing so without the presence of phones or cameras.

“The only advice I can give now is… if you’re gonna have a party like this, I suggest you go for the full blackout party. You need to have no phones, there’s no social media. If you want to do this I just don’t ever want to hear about it and neither does anybody else because you’re a bunch of idiots.”

“What about if you turn the tables?" Wilkinson queried. "What about if a group of black people do dress ups and they do a white face? Is that offensive?”

Both panelists were assured in their answers: "No",  with Campbell explaining the reason. “You know, I haven’t had hundreds of years of oppression. We just need to remember the history of it all.”

"... I mean come as your favourite pop star. That would be great. You know, or come as your favourite footballer,” he concluded.

Sonia agreed, emphasising that partygoers should stick to white popstars: “Or come as your favourite white popstar. Then it’s safe, isn’t it? If everyone comes as Britney (Spears)?"

“Let’s do a Britney themed party." the pair decided.

Do you agree with the Today panel? Would you 'expect' blackface from the party theme of 'iPod Shuffle'?

00:00 / ???