Kiwi comedian lashes out at blackface critics

Jimi Jackson in blackface make-up
Jimi Jackson (Instagram.com)

A New Zealand comedian has fired back at people offended over his posting a blackface photo online, labelling those offended "sl*ts" and "c***s".

Jimi Jackson captioned the image "Jimi Blackson" and is refusing to take the images down or apologise, even suggesting those attacking the photos are racist.

The origins of blackface make-up lie in 1800s America, where white people wore shoe polish or greasepaint on their faces in minstrel shows that are considered to have dehumanised black people and reinforced racist stereotypes.

"Blackface is never funny" and "Blackface = ignorance" are some of the milder criticisms on Jackson's Instagram post.

"Black face is not funny you over privileged white f**k," writes another.

"This is so f**king racist, what the f**k is wrong with you?"

The same image on his Facebook page, however, sparked more fierce discussion.

Jackson defended the make-up, saying it was for a kapa haka skit in a TV show, and telling people in no uncertain terms they ought not to follow him if they were offended.

He also issued an angry rebuttal to an apparently female commenter in the form of a misogynistic sexual slur not dissimilar to many of Eminem's lyrics.

Jimi Jackson replies to offended commenters

In a Snapchat video showing his blackface makeup, Jackson says he "would be the sexiest black c***. I kind of wish I was more black".

Jackson's controversial comedy has amassed him more than 814,000 likes on Facebook and 183,000 followers on Instagram.

He often jokes about Maori life, and has made regular appearances on Maori Television talk shows.

Maori Television has confirmed to Fairfax Media that Jackson is filming for upcoming TV show Jimi's World.

Newshub.