Journalist Joe Hildebrand is making a big name for himself. He writes for the Daily Telegraph, The Punch, The Drum, and also appears on the panel of Q & A, Channel 7's Morning Show, and Sky's Paul Murray Live. Now he has another feather in his cap - his controversial ABC series Dumb, Drunk and Racist on ABC2 has premiered to record breaking numbers. The program follows Hildebrand and four Indians as they travel around Australia to test whether the popular Indian perception of Australians as stupid, intoxicated bigots is correct.
There have been many incidents of young Indian students being bashed and parents have decided that Australia is too dangerous to send their child to study, so much so, that it's now hurting our economy.
In the first episode, Call Centre operator Mahima Bhardwai plays recorded conversations of angry Australian males and how they react to being called by one of their workers. It's easy to see why there is such anti-Australian feeling at the call centre - the language is foul and far beyond offensive.
Radhika Budhwar advises Indian students where they should study overseas and she hasn't recommended Australia for five years. Gurmeet Chaudhary is a television anchor and Amer Singh is a third year law student who decided it was safer to study in India.
In the first episode, they visit Bondi and a life guard explains that Asians generally, are not good swimmers and are high on the list of surf rescues. Then a heated debate ensues at the site of the inner-city mural which reads "Say no to Burqas' when a local Muslim man and the Indian visitors agree that the message is confrontational and likely to incite hatred. The owner said the mural had been defaced 64 times but he is committed to restoring it as it is his lone protest to uphold one of our basic rights - free speech.
After the show was over, Joe said "We generally saw plenty of stuff that was just out-and-out ugly and nasty. We had people throwing out the most outrageous racist abuse in the street, completely unprovoked that came out of nowhere. But we also met some of the most amazing, inspirational, intelligent, thoughtful and compassionate people as well."
Catch the show on ABC iview.