Wonky Donkey author slammed for song about gollywogs

A 2008 song by Wonkey Donkey author and Queenstown local Craig Smith has surfaced online, with social media users slamming it as unacceptable and "racist".

The "Gollywog song" is still available to play on Smith's YouTube account.

The video shows a woman dressed as the "PC police" taking a golliwog doll from a child. Smith, strumming his guitar, plays about his childhood spent playing with the same type of doll.

The song is part of the same album as the famous "The Wonky Donkey", which recently returned to the spotlight after a video of a grandmother reading the book to her grandson went viral.

The album is still available to purchase and Smith has recently announced a number of children's shows around New Zealand, including a show at Te Papa in Wellington as part of the museum's school holiday programme.

Smith told the Spinoff he would not be performing the song in his upcoming tour, had not performed it in 10 years and never performed it at a children's show.

"I understand that people have genuine concerns about the song. I never intended to offend anyone in fact the intent was as an anti-racist song."

People have taken to social media to express their outrage at the song.

"'Wonky Donkey' and Craig Smith fans - you'll probably want to rethink your patronage in light of his deeply racist 'Golliwog Song' (and video). There's a bunch of discussion about this going on round the place right now," a Facebook user posted.

"Smith appears to be still promoting this song and profiting off it, even if he isn't performing it live on his current tour. Hopefully venues for his tour will take note of this. It's NOT GOOD ENOUGH for him simply not to be performing it live right now," she added.

"Please stop singing your 'Golliwog Song' as it is actively harmful and helps to perpetuate racist stereotypes. As children are your audience, it is even more questionable," another person posted on Craig Smith's Facebook page.

"Your song about bringing golliwogs back is horrible and the worst kind of white defensiveness. Pulling your book from my shelves and definitely NOT buying your next one," another person said.

With ODT 





What a load of terribly sad people. the saddest thing is dredging up all these things to be ashamed of that we have absolutely no connection with. We did not have slaves, we did not lynch African people, we did not invent golliwogs. it is NOT part of our history, apart from the dolls we had as children. . Now we have the Germans complaining about the use of the Swastika.. A spiritual symbol that THEY and turned into a symbol of evil, we should take that back for its original meaning just like the African Americans took back "n****r" for themselves. Real racism is in the heart, Craig has a very good heart. You CANNOT please everyone Craig and the fact that the wet brigade have managed to dredge up something to be offended about means you are probably doing the right thing! Keep up the good work!

One wonders how these precious people would cope with Randy Newman touring NZ and singing, for example, "Rednecks".

Good on you Craig!