Peter Dutton has criticised an apparent flurry of “cancel culture” in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Netflix has removed four shows featuring controversial Australian performer Chris Lilley and there are calls to bring down statues of British explorer Captain James Cook.
“I don’t think ripping pages out of history books and brushing over parts of history you don’t agree with or you don’t like is really something the Australian public is going to embrace,” Mr Dutton told Nine on Friday.
“There are good and bad parts of our history. You learn from that.”
“You sit down with your kids, looking at some of these videos, explaining that slavery was a horrible period in the United States.”
The Home Affairs Minister said Netflix removing the Chris Lilley shows, in which the comedian depicted a range of characters including in blackface, was absurd.
“Removing that sort of content from online or from our television sets, I just don’t think makes any sense,” he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was wrong to link Captain Cook to Black Lives Matter, arguing the protest movement was being hijacked by left-wing activists pushing their own agendas.
But Mr Morrison has been widely criticised for claiming there was no slavery in Australia, with many people pointing out the country’s long history of forced labour and stolen wages of Aboriginal people.
The moves by local broadcasters are part of a broader reassessment of content taking place globally.
Streaming service HBO Max this week decided to temporarily remove Gone with the Wind from its platform.
HBO Max said the movie would eventually return, but will come with a discussion about its historical context and a denouncement of its racist depictions.
Netflix’s decision to remove Chris Lilley’s shows comes after the comedian was long criticised for playing racially insensitive characters.