News National Blackface character on Chris Lilley’s new Netflix series Lunatics ignites social media storm

Blackface character on Chris Lilley’s new Netflix series Lunatics ignites social media storm

Lunatics Chris Lilley
Chris Lilley's new character Jana, a South African psychic, has been labelled racist by some viewers. Photo: Twitter
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Chris Lilley hasn’t even debuted his 10-part Netflix series Lunatics, but his eccentric new characters are already raising eyebrows.

The creator of Summer Heights High released the trailer for his new show on Thursday morning, sparking a social media frenzy before its premiere on April 18.

Like his other comedy series, Lilley’s new show uses the format of a satirical documentary to explore the private lives of wacky individuals, all played by the Australian comedian.

But it seems the controversial actor has failed to learn from his past mistakes, which include donning blackface to play the character of an American rapper in his 2011 series Angry Boys.

One of his brand new characters, a lesbian psychic from South Africa, has already been slammed as racist and insensitive.

Forget what you know about Mr G the drama teacher or private school girl Ja’mie King – the six new characters in Lunatics are a whole new ball game:


Unusually big-bottomed Quentin is a 29-year-old real estate agent who dreams of ditching his family’s business to become a world-renowned DJ and street artist.


Jana is a lesbian ‘psychic for the stars’. She comes from South Africa and has developed an unrequited crush on her personal assistant.


Gavin is an intense young boy and ‘future Earl of an English country estate’ who is trying to manage the pressure of his future responsibilities.


Fresh out of the fashion industry, Keith is eager to start a new business venture. However, he struggles to contain his object sexuality issues, namely a romantic love for his cash register.


University freshman Becky is off to an American college with her twin sister. Becky’s biggest obstacle is her abnormally long legs.

Photo: Supplied


Former porn star Joyce is an obsessive hoarder and recluse who decks out her pink house in trinkets and toys to the dismay of her neighbours.

As expected, the preview of Lunatics has generated mixed responses on social media, with some people criticising Lilley’s character Jana for promoting racist stereotypes.

Others were pleased to discover the comedian was returning to their screens.

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