The GC depiction of Maori: creator
The creator of The GC says the cast of the new series depict Maori people today.
Outrage was growing at NZ On Air's decision to spend nearly $420,000 on the show, which critics were slamming after its first episode on Wednesday.
Creator and producer Bailey Mackey wasn't fazed by the negative reaction, but said hurtful comments towards him and his cast were ''disappointing''.
He told Radio Live viewers should put the first episode into context and give the show a chance.
''In course, over eight episodes, I think it will become clearer,'' he said.
The NZ On Air funding was given to create something of the past, present or future of the Maori people. And according to Mackey, the show was ''actually a depiction of Maori presently''.
He said some people would like to see Maori at "the bottom of their shoe" in shows like Police Ten 7, with statistics of obesity, smoking and crime stacked against them. ''But here is a show at the other end of the scale.''
Mackey said the cast were Maori and were ''proud of who they are''.
''This is a relevant demographic. These are New Zealanders who are currently residing in Australia. From a Maori point of view, it is seeing how people handle the depiction of young, good-looking and confidently Maori people in prime time,'' he said.
Labour MP Shane Jones said he watched enough of The GC to conclude it was a ''low brow version of Jersey Shore''.
The cast couldn't reflect Maori people as no one person could define the culture and its people, he said.
''Having lived in the Gold Coast it's just a reflection of the lifestyle. Those guys are probably having a great time, probably wasting time.''
As for whether he was comfortable with Maori being portrayed as self-centred, partying youth, Jones said ''it doesn't hugely bother me''.
''It's probably evidence why the exodus of some Kiwis are good for New Zealand.''
A Facebook group, asking for The GC to be cancelled had accumulated more than 7900 likes by this morning, while the official The GC fanpage had 9700 likes.
On the Scoop website, Tom Frewen yesterday pointed to the disparity between NZ On Air's description of the show when it announced funding had been approved last August, and the way TV3 promoted the show.
NZ On Air explained the show, then called Golden Mozzies, looked at seven Maori families living on Australia's Gold Coast.
"The TV3 series will explore emigration from a Maori perspective and how Tikanga Maori supports them as they adapt to life in a new country."
In contrast, TV3 said: "The GC follows the lives of a group of talented and attractive young Maori as they work hard and play even harder in Australia's favourite playground, the glittering Gold Coast."
Broadcaster Mike Hosking said television had reached a new low.
"Congratulations to TV3 for providing this country with the most appalling, low rent, pointless piece of televisual crap I have ever seen in my life," he said.
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- © Fairfax NZ News
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