The YouTube star has been criticised for imitating John Barilaro.
The YouTube star has been criticised for imitating John Barilaro.

YouTuber‘s ‘racist’ depiction of leaders

A YouTube star has posted a video appearing to mock NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Deputy Premier John Barilaro's accents.

The video - posted by YouTube star Friendlyjordies, whose real name is Jordan Shanks - took aim at Ms Berejiklian over her handling of the Black Summer bushfire crisis. It repeatedly refers to the premier as a "koala killer", saying she was responsible for the death of a "billion animals".

Shanks also imitates Mr Barilaro in an exaggerated Italian accent, repeatedly using the word "bruz" and swearing.

Mr Barilaro lashed out at Shanks, calling the impersonation "very offensive" and "racist".

Mr Shanks appeared to imitate Ms Berejiklian in another YouTube video last Sunday, where he implied she had been lying during an interview with TV star and podcast host Osher Gunsberg.

The YouTube star used a heavily exaggerated Italian accent when impersonating both politicians.
The YouTube star used a heavily exaggerated Italian accent when impersonating both politicians.

"I don't mind taking the mickey out of myself, but this is actually very offensive. It's a low attempt at comedy and full of racist undertones," Mr Barilaro told The Daily Telegraph when asked about the video.

"To imitate both myself and the Premier with such obvious distaste for our backgrounds is unacceptable.

"Our migrant story is actually the Australian success story, one this nation is proud of."

Ms Berejiklian was born in Australia to Armenian parents and began speaking English at the age of five.

Mr Barilaro's parents are Italian and they moved to Australia in the late 1960s.

Recent videos shared by Mr Shanks have been highly critical of different areas of Liberal environmental policy. Mr Shanks has also sold T-shirts with images of Ms Berejiklian, with the hashtag "koala killer".

Originally published as YouTuber's 'racist' depiction of leaders


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