If you have seen or read interviews with director Taika Waititi, you would definitely think that he is a fun-loving guy — and it shows in his work. He brought his humor to Thor: Ragnarok which elevated it to a whole new level of funny for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and if you haven’t watched What We Do In The Shadows, then you are missing out. But in a recent interview, Waititi put the comedy on hold and discussed a wide range of topics including his personal experiences with racism in his native New Zealand.
In an interview with musician Ruban Nielson for the London-based magazine Dazed & Confused, Waititi talked about being half Polynesian in New Zealand and while growing up he would be “the kid a shop owner will follow around.”
Being the son of a Maori father of Te-Whanau-a-Apanui descent and a Jewish-European mother, Waititi said that New Zealand is the “best place on the planet” but is “racist as f***.”
“People just flat-out refuse to pronounce Maori names properly,” said Waititi. “There’s still profiling when it comes to Polynesians. It’s not even a colour thing — like, ‘Oh, there’s a black person.’ It’s, ‘If you’re Poly then you’re getting profiled.’”
He goes on to say that many people in Auckland are patronizing, telling him that he has done so well for how he grew up and “for one of your people.”