Mystery Road’s Aaron Pedersen describes racism as “an old friend”

Aaron Pedersen

Actor Aaron Pedersen has spoken about the familiarity of racism in Australia, describing it as “an old friend.”

We caught up with Pedersen ahead of the release of his new movie, Mystery Road, in which he plays a cowboy detective persecuted by both his home town’s indigenous community and the mostly-white police force.

Pedersen revealed he and director Ivan Sen had been confronted with racism throughout their lives.

“It’s something that happens most of the time. It just depends on which environment you walk into.

“You know it so well. You can just read it, like you know it as an old friend. It’s a very familiar thing to see.”

Asking whether or not he felt an obligation to highlight racial inequality, Pedersen suggested he was in a better position to do so than older generations ever were.

“We’re a very privileged generation right now. We’re in a place where we can have a say and can change it, but prior to 1967, our people were part of the Flora and Fauna act.

“For people to say they don’t believe racism exists in Australia, well, they’ve got to be kidding themselves, because it was pretty much written in paper. It was put in ink.

“There were a lot of hurdles our people had to overcome, and for us to get a chance to put it in art, and use it as a piece of information and an education tool, and to empower is a good thing.”

Listen to the entire interview here.

Subscribe to the Talk Hard podcast – which features all our interviews – on iTunes.

Mystery Road is now showing in Australian cinemas. It does not yet have a New Zealand release date.

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