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ABC forced to pull two episodes of kids’ TV show Bluey over claims they include racist language

The ABC has pulled two episodes of its most downloaded kids show after receiving complaints they contained racist language.  

Episodes of the show Bluey were taken down on August 10 after a viewer complained about the use of the term ‘ooga booga’ in the ‘Teasers’ and ‘Flat Back’ episodes. 

The complaint said the phrase had racial connotations which referred to a ‘problematic history for Indigenous Australians.’  

‘The ABC sincerely apologised to the complainant for any distress caused by the term,’ an official statement read. 

‘The ABC has a strong record for giving voice to Indigenous Australians and an ongoing commitment to helping reduce discrimination and prejudice.’

The complainant was also told the ABC and the external producers of the show weren’t aware of the offensive language. 

Bluey is the ABC’s most downloaded show on Iview, having been watched more than 200 million times. 

Outraged fans took to social media to slam the broadcaster for taking down the episodes.

‘Can’t people just enjoy Bluey as a wholesome cartoon?’ one fan wrote.  

‘Can someone explain to me how ‘ooga booga’ is racist?’ another added.

However others praised the decision and one woman explained why the term ‘ooga booga’ was racist.

‘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,’ she wrote.

‘It was used in social circles, in movies or TV depicting black indigenous people as ‘uncivilised fools’. 

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

The ABC will change the dialogue prior to future broadcast or publication of the two episodes.  

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