Harcourts staff wear blackface to national conference

Video footage that has since been removed from Facebook showed a group of eight people in blackface and afro or beaded wigs, wearing matching Cameroon sports outfits.
Video footage that has since been removed from Facebook showed a group of eight people in blackface and afro or beaded wigs, wearing matching Cameroon sports outfits. Photo credit: Supplied

Eight Harcourts staff members have been recorded wearing blackface at the company's national conference.

The real estate agency's conference was held at Auckland's SkyCity Convention Centre between Monday and Wednesday.

On Tuesday night, the 'Game On' themed networking party encouraged Harcourts staff to dress up as sports players.

Video footage that has since been removed from Facebook showed a group of eight people in blackface and afro or beaded wigs, wearing matching Cameroon sports outfits.

Harcourts chief executive Chris Kennedy told Stuff the group dressed as the missing Cameroon Commonwealth Games team.

He said the group had "no intention to offend" and were "responsive to [other conference attendees'] concerns and left".

"It was brought to the attention of this group that some party attendees were offended by the black makeup they were wearing," Kennedy said in a statement supplied to Stuff.

The origins of blackface make-up lie in the United States in the 1800s, when white people wore shoe polish or greasepaint on their faces in minstrel shows that reinforced racist stereotypes about black people.

Newshub.