Nic Naitanui boy 'too upset to go to school' after blackface backlash

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  • Nic Naitanui
    Australian rules footballer

The little Perth boy who dressed up as his football idol Nic Naitanui for a Book Week costume competition was too upset to go to school on Friday after a nation-wide backlash to his blackface.

The boy's mother told 7 News she didn't mean to cause any harm when she painted her son brown, and said the family are now too scared to leave their home.

The boy's mother who posted his blackface image online. Source: 7News
The boy's mother who posted his blackface image online. Source: 7News

"We have been in tears and are too scared to leave the house," the mother said after copping a barrage of abuse across social media on Thursday.

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"I didn't know what blackface was until yesterday. I had to look it up."

The Gosnells mother had posted her son's photo to popular Perth blogger Constance Hall's wall where she claimed the costume was a "parenting win".

Eagles star Nic Naitanui weighs into the controversy, saying education is the key. Source: 7News
Eagles star Nic Naitanui weighs into the controversy, saying education is the key. Source: 7News

"I was a little worried about painting him (so many politically correct extremists these days)," she posted on Ms Hall's wall.

"He is pasty white and if I sent him in a wig and footy gear, no one would tell who he was.

"So I grew a set of balls and painted my boy brown and he looked fan****tastic."

The boy dressed to look like his idol Nic Naitanui. Source: 7News
The boy dressed to look like his idol Nic Naitanui. Source: 7News

The mother said her son won the best dressed parade, despite being told the idea was "horrible" by other parents.

But the post went viral with thousands of people labelling the mother a racist.

Ms Hall, who deleted the post but defended the mother's actions as ignorant, has also been subject to death threats in the racism row and was forced to seek shelter at a hotel to escape the online abuse.

The early days of the blackface racism. Source: YouTube
The early days of the blackface racism. Source: YouTube

Nic Naitanui himself tweeted that he felt the mother didn't intend to cause any harm and just wanted her 'kid to simply be Nic Nat'.

“It’s a shame racism coexists in an environment where our children should be nurtured not tortured because they are unaware of the painful historical significance “blackface” has had previously on the oppressed," Naitanui tweeted.

The WA Education Department has sought to distance itself from the controversy, claiming the year four student was one of 50 who received a 'Best Dressed' award.

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