It appears the hit job on Nick Giannopoulos was successful.
A week ago he was still respected and admired as the Greek Australian who in the late 1980’s popularised and brought us wog humour.
No longer was it Anglo Australians portraying us ethnics as caricatures with pencil thin moustaches, heavy accents with an Aussie drawl working in a fruit or fish shop and always presented as dumbards.
But Giannopoulos and his group of comic work mates who also happened to be of ethic background were able to use comedy to make the rest of us who were always known as ‘wogs’ as soon as we left the house be proud of our foreign ethnicity and families.
The stage show they presented and took around Australia was called Wogs Out Of Work ending up being one of the most successful live shows in the country’s history. He then went on with his comic partners to create and present the TV show Acropolis Now which also became a huge hit along with other stage shows. To many Greek Australians, Giannopoulos was seen as someone who deserved the success and was now applauded for making the term “wog” into a positive spin and no longer a racial slur used constantly against us.
But of course not all of us from a Greek background were happy about these shows, some seeing them as a continuation of sending up immigrants and their children born here. However comedy in general does not appeal to everyone at the same time and level.
This all changed a week ago when a comedian accused Giannopoulos of taking legal action against him for using the word ’wogs’ on the basis Giannopoulos had trademarked the word. The print and electronic media then got a hold of this story, mocking and ridiculing Nick for trademarking the word and accusing him of trying to make money from the word’s usage.
In today’s world it’s social media that governs someone’s popularity and reputation. As a result of the negative stories alleging Giannopoulos was not allowing other comedians use the word ‘wogs’ because he had trademarked it, social media exploded with mostly nasty negative comments about him and the quality of his comedy, some calling it outdated, which is a separate issue.
I even wrote a letter to the editor based on the media stories expressing my disappointment in him trademarking the word ‘wogs’. Mostly negative comments aimed at Nick were made in response to my letter which was placed on-line.
There were a few who maintained that the media had gotten the story wrong thanks to a bitter comedian who seems to be whipping up hysteria against Giannopoulos and accusing him of trademarking the ‘wogs’ word.
It appears the media did not fact check the details of the allegations to ensure the details were all accurate and as a consequence reported incorrect information which has now probably severely damaged Nick’s reputation at least for the present.
All Nick trademarked was the titles of his successful stage shows which he considered his intellectual property and to which he has a legal hold of.
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He has never trademarked the word ‘wog’ he said, and yet we have taken a sledgehammer to almost destroy his career reputation.
He deserves a public apology.
Apologies Nick for contributing to this fiasco.
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