ABC1’s “Librarians” didn’t send up Muslims because they wanted to be “polite”
Robyn Butler, who plays chief librarian Fraces O’Brien in ABC1’s comedy series The Librarians, said she had no problem going “full pelt” with Catholics in the show’s first two series, but admitted holding back from sending up Muslims because they wanted to be “polite”.
Promoting the third series of the show on ABC Melbourne radio today, Butler told presenter Jon Faine that this season they’ll “give it to everybody”.
“We’ve got a Muslim character in the first two episodes who’s perhaps a little stereotypical of what we imagine a Muslim man, a heavy duty Muslim man, to be,” she said.
Faine queried the term “heavy duty”.
“Heavy duty, meaning a little overbearing, a little forceful, his ideology, his opinions, and we thought, I think we shied away from that a little in the first two series because, we thought, we’re not quite sure about Islam yet. We want to be a little more polite,” Butler said.
“Catholics – I’ll go hell to, I’ll go full pelt with, but there’s nobody who doesn’t get a shellacking in the show.”
Butler explained that Nada, a Muslim character, “stopped really being Muslim per se.”
How did she do that?
According to Butler, “She has a love story throughout this series.”
Ah, so according to Butler, apparently a woman stops being a Muslim if she engages in romance?
“How progressive are we?” Butler asked Faine.
“Progressive, or brave,” Faine replied.
“I don’t want a fatwah, okay. Can I just say from the outset, I don’t want any kind of fatwah on me issued,” Butler said.
“That’s up to you, Robyn,” said Faine, ABC Melbourne’s multiculturalist-in-chief. Lightening up, he added: “Well, it’s up to Frances, really, isn’t it?”
“Yes, there’s nothing to do with me. It’s Frances. She writes herself,” Butler said.
Butler said the show was satirical and they were fair—or unfair—to everyone.
“Knowing that if everybody gets pushed and shunted around – disabled people, Muslim people, or Catholic people, gay people, Asian people, really we are fair to everybody in our comedy.
“You’re not laughing at religion or ideologies, you’re laughing at attitudes towards those things,” Butler said.
No, Robyn, we’re laughing at the ABC.