'New Zealand is racist as f***" — that's been the topic on everyone's lips this week.
For many of us, Taika Waititi's claim — and the backlash to it — was fairly unsurprising because these are truths we've always known.
When you've walked down the street and had someone yell at you to "go back to your own country" just because you don't look like them, you know this truth.
When someone refers to your people as "dole-bludging mow-rees", you know this truth.
And when someone is impressed you've made it as far as you have despite the fact you're Maori, you know this truth — just like Taika said.
The only thing that did surprise me out of all of this was how one media outlet in particular handled the whole thing.
Over at TV3, MediaWorks has found itself in a bit of an in-house war over the issue.
How do I know this? We've had multiple sources contact us from within MediaWorks to tell us, and you know things are bad when you're letting the competition in the know.
It all started when Duncan Garner and Mark Richardson weighed in on the AM Show — while Amanda Gillies sat between them trying to be the voice of reason.
You may remember Duncan and Mark from their earlier comments around race and diversity.
Like the time Mark thought it was okay to use the N-word because there's no such thing as racist words, just actions and beliefs.
Speaking in defence of a British MP who used the word, Mark claimed that in order to call someone a racist, you need tangible "proof" of that racism.
Oh and you have to "know what they're thinking" — be a mind reader — to "prove" someone's racist.
Or what about the time Garner wrote that column for Stuff about migrants and foreigners, spouting lines like: "It could have been anywhere in Southeast Asia", it "fast became a nightmarish glimpse into our future", and "Let's design our country to make it better for us. Bring in the people ... [but] let's not give them what they need from us so easily."
The Press Council upheld a complaint against said column, saying: "Despite the writer's protestations to the contrary, his approach can only be seen as gratuitous racism."
These are the two guys who sat at the desk of a nationwide programme and said they didn't agree with Taika's statement, that it was "sabotage" and he was "a clown", that we're not AS racist as apartheid in South Africa (so that's a win), and best of all "if we're honest with ourselves, we're all a little bit racist".
I won't go into how problematic this all is because a) I think it speaks for itself, and b) Kanoa Lloyd, fellow TV3 presenter on The Project, already took her colleagues to task.
Speaking on The Project that same night, she explained there's no scale of racism; "You either accept that racism exists, or you don't".
She then went on to add that there is no proof of it (sorry, Mark): "The less visible racism — the stuff that you don't know anything about unless you're brown or black or Asian — is happening all the time.
"And it hurts like hell," she said.
Now, you'll notice Mark and Duncan did not respond on the AM Show the next morning.
Why? Well according to people within the camp, they were told not to — and they are really not happy about it.
Presumably, MediaWorks realised how problematic these two were and wanted to land on the right side of the conversation, for which I commend it.
But more so, I commend MediaWorks for giving more weight to Kanoa's comments than to Mark and Duncan's.
I commend it for making her an anchor on a prime-time TV show and letting her use that platform to add a much-needed voice to the national conversation.
Because guess what? Not that long ago, she wouldn't have been given the opportunity and New Zealanders would have been stuck thinking that views such as those proffered by Mark and Duncan were the only ones that mattered.
The poise, intelligence and compassion with which Kanoa approached this conversation are exactly why we need people such as her in these top TV slots.
Calling someone a "clown" and accusing them of "sabotage" does as much good as denying racism in the first place.
The way forward is to do what Kanoa did: Acknowledge the problem, get it out there on a hugely public platform and start the conversation about how to address it.