Here Come The Habibs, which premiered earlier this week on the Nine Network amid allegations of racism and a petition calling for its cancellation, is under further attack today – this time from Sydney’s well-heeled eastern suburbs.
Long term Vaucluse resident Rachel Green is furious at the representation of her friends and neighbours and is demanding the show be taken off air immediately. “How dare they say the O’Neills are from Vaucluse when they simply scream Gosford?” she demanded of the supposedly old monied characters.
Poet activist Candy Royalle’s petition calling for Channel 9 to pull the ‘racist’ show began attracting signatures weeks ago, but Mrs Green has since started a more exclusive petition.
Although unwilling to verify it, the charity board member insists the number of elite signatures she has collected exceeds several million. The 2011 census records 7,919 residents of Vaucluse, but Mrs Green attributes the discrepancy to the census having been conducted late in the week: “we were all sipping Pimms at Whale Beach by then, darling.”
The Greens’ neighbour, Mark Collins, 53, who asked that his real name and age not be used in this story but then reneged on his promise to take us for a spin in his Porsche, is livid at how Channel 9 has depicted his locale. Arguably the suburb’s biggest motoring enthusiast with a collection of some 30 vehicles, Mr Collins said the use of a Volkswagen convertible worth less than $50,000 was particularly egregious, “even people in The Shire have Benzes these days.”
Whilst most Vaucluse homeowners refused to answer their intercoms, some turned on automatic watering systems and several released rottweilers in order to dissuade us from venturing any closer, the overwhelming majority of residents spoken to by The unAustralian were unhappy with their treatment by the show’s allegedly white writers. “I doubt they’ve ever been further east than Homebush,” declared a fixture of Sydney’s champagne set. “The scene where the husband was wearing an apron and looked as though he was actually catering the party himself was the only genuinely funny joke in the entire half hour.”
Many found the ham-fisted attempts at sexism and racism troubling too. One of the country’s most generous private political donors said he was looking forward to some good old-fashioned gags in the tradition of Acropolis Now and Kingswood Country, only to find much-loved prejudices matched to the wrong stereotypes. “I’m a white supremacist not an idiot,” he said on the verge of tears.
Channel 9 was unavailable for comment as the entire network is believed to be in Thailand avoiding the hype.