go to content

This Former Politician Has A Collection Of Racist Golliwog Dolls And Thinks They're Awesome

"I love Golliwogs."

Posted on

Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett has talked about his love for 'Golliwog' dolls saying they're not racist before calling on Australia of the Year, David Morrison, to defend the rag dolls.

Channel 9.

In an article in The Age about a shop in Melbourne, where Kennett gets most of his dolls from, the former premier had a message for Morrison.

"I hope he will give all golliwogs and golliwog lovers great hope that by the end of his term, golliwogs will again be able to walk the streets freely without being abused," Kennett said.

The dolls, which are black with frizzy hair and large lips, have long been considered as racist caricatures of black slaves and people of colour and are widely reviled as a relic of the past.

Kennett says he's the leader of the unofficial Golliwog Liberation Party and has a collection of around 50 dolls, each of them with names. Kennett, the former Hawthorn AFL club president, famously named one of the dolls Buddy, after Indigenous player Lance 'Buddy' Franklin.

"Buddy (Franklin) is long, tall and thin and I hope he is as proud of the golliwog as I am," Kennett told the Herald Sun in 2011 when Franklin, now with the Sydney Swans, was recruited to Hawthorn.

"Every golliwog has a name. This one is in Hawthorn colours and he will be my Buddy. He joins Jacko, Mr King - named after boxing promoter Don King - and 40 other gollies in my collection."

During Oprah's visit to Melbourne In 2010 Golliwog dolls were removed from a shop window to avoid offence. Kennett told 3AW Radio, "I am so disappointed that we are so politically correct that this Golliwog has got to be taken from display. I love Golliwogs."

Allan Clarke is an Indigenous Affairs Reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney.

Contact Allan Clarke at allan.clarke@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.