A CBC News story about the video of a racially charged skit leaked from a military dinner has generated mixed public reaction, with more than 800 comments posted online.
The video includes a man in brown makeup and wearing a turban, pretending to be Osama bin Laden’s brother.
In the website’s comments section, many people say they don’t find the video offensive, calling it similar to what they might see on a satirical television show such as CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes starring Shaun Majumder.
“This could have easily been done by CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes,” posted WR_R067, “and I’ve seen similar skits on the CBC. Shame on anyone who would charge these soldiers for having fun. The skit is not the embarrassment, the investigation is.”
Others said the video was in poor taste.
“I’m pretty positive if anyone of you was of this visible minority group, you’d be offended,” posted Michael_Langan.
“What message does this tell our children and youth that this kind of stuff is okay? This is the kind of material that gives bullys the green light in schools, etc., that it’s okay to make fun of a certain group of people.”
Majumder told CBC News that, as a comedian, he doesn’t find the video offensive, but he questions the judgment of the people who made it.
“When you are in the workplace — and especially if it is the military — it’s like you’ve got to have some kind of sensitivity to the current world that we live in,” said Majumder.
“It’s kind of funny, they had every opportunity all the way down the line to be like, ‘Yeah you know what you guys, maybe we shouldn’t go black face.'”
Majumder said the military context makes the video totally different from a skit produced for TV comedy.
He said this type of performance would be severely reprimanded in most Canadian workplaces, and thinks the military should uphold the same standard.