'I was being racist': Art Green apologises for blackface and yellowface jokes

Art Green has revealed he feels "really disappointed in himself" for wearing blackface in 2015 and then making racist jokes about it in a 2018 interview after a TikTok clip of the moment went viral this week. 

Art and his wife Matilda were featured on an episode of the TVNZ series Anika Moa Unleashed in which they joked about a time when Art darkened his skin and wore an Indian outfit to a celebrity Bollywood-themed party. 

"It wasn't full blackface and it was also brown body," Matilda said, while Art added: "Actually, technically it was Indian, so would that be yellowface?"

"No, that's Asian!" Matilda and Anika both replied.

After Matilda apologised for the incident on her Instagram Story on Tuesday morning, Art followed suit in the afternoon, admitting: "I was being racist". 

"This is something that I feel really disappointed in myself that I said these things and acted in this way, and to think it was okay to do that, and funny to do that, when in actual fact it was racist, and I was being racist," he said in the video message. 

"I want to apologise to anyone out there who feels hurt by what I did. I am very sorry and I would never even consider thinking about doing or saying the same things again because I know that it's racist and it's not right and it's not okay." 

Art insisted that he had changed and "grown as a person" since the blackface controversy and subsequent jokes, adding that this was "part of a learning curve". 

Some social media commentators challenged Art and Matilda's apologies, claiming Matilda's assertion the pair were "young and dumb" two years ago when the interview aired wasn't good enough. 

"You weren't that young and racism is never OK," one Facebook user wrote. 

"Yes, because social values have changed dramatically in the two big long years since they did this," said another. 

Meanwhile, others felt it was unnecessary for the reality TV couple to apologise at all, claiming any offence taken to the incidents was an oversensitive reaction. 

"It was hardly mega-offensive. For as long as Will Smith uses the N-word in his movies - I would not take this as offensive - it wasn't particularly funny though," one Facebook user said. 

"Don't apologise to the mob," one comment offered, while another read: "Geez so many snowflakes."