“Thor: Ragnarok” director Taika Waititi slammed his home country of New Zealand in a new interview, calling it “racist as f**k” because of people’s disregard for proper pronunciation.
“It’s racist as f**k,” Waititi, who is of Māori descent, explained to British magazine Dazed. “I mean, I think New Zealand is the best place on the planet, but it’s a racist place. People just flat-out refuse to pronounce Maori names properly.”
“There’s still profiling when it comes to Polynesians. It’s not even a colour thing – like, ‘Oh, there’s a black person.’ It’s, ‘If you’re Poly then you’re getting profiled.’”
He added that people in Auckland are particularly guilty of this behavior.
“People in Auckland are very patronising. They’re like, ‘Oh, you’ve done so well, haven’t you? For how you grew up. For one of your people.’”
In an interview with TVNZ’s Breakfast, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy praised Waititi for his comments, saying it was “really brave leadership.”
“Good on Taika for having the courage to speak up and tell the truth. We need to understand that racism is an issue in New Zealand and what are we going to do about it.
“I think he’s being really honest. He’s showing humanity an action and highlighting an issue that he’s personally experienced. He’s championing the cause, he’s not doing it for any other reason, he believes in this and he’s experienced it himself. He’s just telling it like it is.”
Waititi, whose work in Hollywood brought pride back home, campaigned against racism last year in a tongue-in-cheek video that invited Kiwis to “give nothing” to it.
Check it out below:
— NZ Human Rights Commission (@NZHumanRights) June 14, 2017