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Indian-origin doctor in race row

india Updated: Oct 08, 2009 15:23 IST

PTI
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An Indian-origin doctor has been caught in a race row in Australia after a skit in which he painted his face white impersonating late pop icon Michael Jackson while other artists covered themselves in black paint.

Anand Deva, the Sydney-based plastic surgeon who was the frontman of Blackface skit on 'Hey Hey its Saturday' has to apologise and said it was ironic he was called a racist, given his Indian background. He said the Jackson Jive act on the show's yesterday was not meant to cause offence.

"I am an Indian, and five of the six of us are from multicultural backgrounds and to be called a racist ... I don't think I have ever been called that ever in my life before," he said.

"Anyone who knows us as a group, we are intelligent people, we are all from different racial backgrounds so I am really truly surprised," Deva said.

Deva further defended the act by saying the group of doctors were from multicultural backgrounds and were huge Michael Jackson fans, the AAP reported.

Deva was one of five men who starred in the skit. His face was painted white, impersonating Michael Jackson, while his back-up dancers donned black face paint and black wigs.

US crooner Harry Connick Jr, who made a guest appearance on the Nine Network show, took offence to the skit and forced an apology. Connick was one of the judges of the segment and took offence to the act, giving it a score of zero.