Before I get into this, I'd like to say that this blog post is 100% my opinion and nobody at George FM/Mediaworks has suggested that I lend my voice to this conversation. My blog partner Richie may not share my opinion on what I'm about to say either also. However, after seeing my Facebook feed catch fire yesterday with the news that John Key's son, Max has been given a show on George FM, I couldn't bite my tongue.
Trawl through any of my personal social media and it's fairly obvious that I am left wing to the core. I always have been. I party voted Green in the last election and lent my face and voice to their campaign, I'm friends with Jacinda Ardern, I was at the first anti-TPPA march, I've posted a photo of John Key eating/deep throating a hotdog and have made several disparaging remarks about our current Prime Minister. I really don't like John Key.
However, do I think that my dislike of this man who pulls all the strings should then extend to his children? No, I don't. I scoffed when I first heard that John Key's son was forming a DJ/Production duo called Troskey, because I doubted that they would be any good. I was being a bit of an arsehole to be honest.
Tourettes wrote an excellent piece of poetry entitled "John Key's Son's a DJ" which I think is one of the most important pieces of social commentary to be created in recent years. The main hook revolves around the title, but there's a lot more to it, check it out below.
So roll around yesterday to when the news broke of Max Key's appointment on George FM, (the station I work for) and the subsequent barrage of commentary on Facebook from my friends. Most of it became an attack on Max, George FM and Mediaworks, and I sat there reading some of it, thinking that I anticipated that this would happen, but then putting myself in Max's shoes and thinking, "Jesus, this poor guy, he will always be hated, ridiculed and penalised for being John Key's son".
There are those who will say, "yes but he was raised in luxury, he'll always have doors opened to him" etc etc, however he and his sister Stephie Key will also be bullied and attacked (online and in person) for at least as long as their father remains Prime Minister. I don't agree with this at all. Max posts a video of his trip to Hawaii with his girlfriend and family online and people lose their minds, "how dare he enjoy his white privileged lifestyle and flaunt it on Instagram?!". You know what? He's just doing what so many people his age with money and Go-Pros are doing online, yet they don't get the same amount of scrutiny and hate thrown at them as he does. I'll admit, I watched the video, I thought it was corny, but was he hurting anyone by posting it?
There seems to be plenty of conspiracy theories floating around concerning Max's appointment on George FM; examples I have seen include "George FM is a National supporting station", "it's because Mark Weldon (Mediaworks CEO) is friends with John Key", and "George FM must be getting paid for this". I'll tell you what I do know; the people who suggested that Max should be given a show on George FM are good friends of mine, are all as left-wing as I am and all were impressed by Max's DJing ability. After the Springbreak Fiji event (week two, which I wasn't at), I heard so many comments about how pleasantly surprised they were by the guy and what a nice young man he was.
I haven't met Max Key yet myself, I've never seen him DJ, but I heard him on George FM last night and I thought he played a pretty sweet set. I value my friends' opinions and I'll give the guy a chance. I think you should too. Of course, if dance music on a commercial music station isn't your thing, then this will have no impact on your life. I'm fairly sure Max won't be spouting political broadcasts in support of his Dad, but no doubt he loves and supports his father. Although, if I suddenly start to tell people to "vote National" after listening to his original tunes, then you'll know that something more sinister is up and he's weaved some subliminal mojo into his music.
If I was judged on the actions of my own (biological) father, I would not be where I am today. Also, has anyone noticed that my surname is Harawira? If George FM is as right-wing as many are suggesting, surely I wouldn't be holding down the weekday slot for 24 hours a week. If I lose my job over writing this blog post, then perhaps those of you making these types of claims can reward yourselves for being justified and right in your conspiracy theories.
I'm not going to make any more comments about this on the blog or social media, so don't expect me to answer any questions or engage in online arguments. I just felt like I had to say something. Say what you want about John Key, but leave his kids out of it.