Veteran Aussie comedian Chris Lilley has come under fire for his decision to share a controversial blackface music video only hours after protesters took to the streets to rally against the death of Indigenous boy Elijah Doughty.

On Saturday, Lilley shared a remix of the controversial track ‘Squashed N***a‘ to his Instagram account. The track was created by Lilley and performed by his character S.mouse on the 2011 TV show Angry Boys. The character of S.mouse had previously drawn criticism and controversy, due in part to the fact that Lilley dons blackface in order to appear as the character, who is portrayed as an African-American rapper.

The track in question is about an Indigenous child who is struck and killed by a vehicle, and was posted only hours after protests were held in regards to the death of Indigenous boy Elijah Doughty. The 14-year-old had been chased, before being struck and killed by the vehicle of a 56-year-old man in Western Australia last year. Just days ago, the accused man was given a three-year sentence for his crime, causing anger to many.

Countless users of social media criticised the poor timing of Lilley’s post, including noted Indigenous musician and activist Briggs, who also called out Lilley on Twitter. Some users also noted that Lilley had either blocked them, or made his social media accounts private after they had questioned him in regards to the post.

Hours after the controversy had erupted, Chris Lilley posted an apology on his social media account, stating that the timing of the post wasn’t related to recent events, but rather just a coincidence.

“My social media pages are run for me to give fans nostalgic pics or clips from previous shows,” Lilley said. “A fan-made remix of a song from Angry Boys made in 2009 was posted recently. It is not connected in any way to current news stories. I apologise for any hurt caused by the misinterpretation.”

At this stage, Lilley has made no further comment on the post, but many have criticised his decision to block those who questioned his actions rather than addressing the situation directly.

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