Aussie comedian banned from Facebook for racism against NZ speaks out

  • 02/05/2018

The Australian comedian who was banned from Facebook for 'racism' against New Zealand has spoken out.

Isaac Butterfield, 24, makes videos for a living. One of his most recent creations, titled 'The Actual Difference Between Australia and New Zealand', was taken down by Facebook on the grounds of racism and hate speech.

In an expletive-laden video, Butterfield poked fun at Kiwis for our accents, vocabulary and sportspeople.

He told The Project that the idea that the video was racist is an "absolute disgrace".

"These were polite jabs at the beautiful country of New Zealand," he says.

"I've had so much support from New Zealanders saying they loved it, it was just fantastic. Facebook, Zuckerberg, I don't know what you're talking about. Calm down."

He "absolutely" believes that comics like him should have some kind of 'comedic immunity', much like the Parliamentary privilege afforded to politicians.

"Even if I don't have that privilege, I will do it anyway. I'll never apologise for a joke. What matters here is intent, I say a lot of horrible things and I never intend to harm anyone through it, except perhaps cyclists.

"Especially racism and hate speech, which I was accused of using in the video, those things are all born out of hate and those are things that I certainly don't have."

In short, he wants people to keep some perspective.

"There's a lot worse on the internet than some bearded dickhead from Australia."

Guest host Mark Richardson wasn't convinced by Butterfield's argument.

"I think the world's got to harden up, but I'm with Facebook on this one," he says.

"It's not a comedy forum, it's social media - and I don't think it's the place to put this stuff.

"If you go to watch a comedian and you don't like them, don't be offended. But anyone can get anything on Facebook."

Kanoa Lloyd says while she agrees that Facebook gets its censoring wrong a lot of the time, she "wouldn't be that pumped" to see one of Butterfield's videos on her timeline.

Watch the full interview on The Project.