Hey Hey It’s Saturday star Red Symons is not one to shy away from controversy, but a recent radio interview has left many seeing red.
The ABC Radio Melbourne breakfast presenter was interviewing Beverley Wang, the host of ABC podcast It’s Not A Race, when their awkward conversation quickly headed down a slippery slope towards cringe-worthy.
Radio time constraints meant the pre-recorded interview had to be edited for Symons’ program, but Wang, who is Canadian, has released the full audio as a “bonus pod”.
“In the spirit of leaning into conversations about race I wanted to give you the full uncut audio of my conversation with Red,” Wang explained.
In the interview Symons said he had an idea similar to Wang’s podcast, except his segment would have been called “What’s the deal with Asians?”
“It’s just a useful general question about the nature of our culture and how one should/can/might interact with people who have a different cultural background,” he said.
The two discussed Wang’s cultural background, which prompted more bizarre exchanges.
Symons: “Are you yellow?”
Wang: “Do I look yellow?”
Symons: “No, you don’t, you look pink.”
Symons assumed that Wang’s surname was Chinese.
“No, not Chinese. Taiwanese,” she said, before explaining that her ancestors left China about 400 years ago.
Not surprisingly, the interview has been criticised on social media.
In her first It’s Not A Race podcast, Wang tackled the controversial Red Faces blackface skit from TV show Hey Hey It’s Saturday that was condemned internationally after the segment’s celebrity guest judge Harry Connick Jr took offence to the performance.