Thursday, April 01, 2010

I guess Rudd would have a similar reaction if he happened to live a long time with okies or razorbacks! ;)

Comedian Robin Williams says he loves Australia and has laughed off criticism from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, poking fun at him in the process.

Williams, recently in Australia voicing a character in the animated film sequel Happy Feet 2, has been in the spotlight for saying that Australians are just "English rednecks" on David Letterman's US talk show.

Mr Rudd took offence, telling Eddie Maguire's Triple M radio show: "I think Robin Williams should go and spend a bit of time in Alabama

(I wonder if Rudd would say the same about Oklahoma?) before he frames comments about anyone being particularly redneck."

Now Mr Rudd is in hot water with the governor of Alabama for that response.

But speaking to Hamish and Andy on Australian radio on Thursday afternoon, Williams laughed off the comments.

"Nice comeback, way to go K-Rudd, how's the food on the plane, good day," Williams said.

"I was just there for two weeks, every time I've been in Australia it's been wonderful. I love it down there. Helloooo!"

Williams said he had used the same line on stage in Australia, and no one had been "angry" about it then.

Asked how he felt about a prime minister on the other side of the world taking offence to his comments, Williams said: "I don't know it's interesting, maybe it's because Mr Abbott did well in the ironman."

Hamish and Andy told Williams they thought Mr Rudd was the only Australian offended, and Williams offered this apology: "Mr Rudd I apologise it's linguistics I would like to modify my terminology and say English Good Old Boy.

"If the term redneck is offensive forgive me sir ...

"Please let me come back to Australia without a cavity search, and if not I'd love to go to a strip club with you in New York."

Meanwhile, Mr Rudd's reference to Alabama and rednecks generated a terse response from Alabama governor Bob Riley.

"I'm not sure if Prime Minister Rudd has ever been to Alabama," Mr Riley responded in a statement.

"If he has, he would know that Alabamians are decent, hard working, creative people."

He also pointed to Australian company Austral's decision to invest heavily in Alabama.

"That's why Alabama is home to Australian companies like Austral which employs more than 1000 Alabamians at the world's largest aluminium shipyard," Mr Riley said

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