Unfortunately, in my travels I have met people from other countries who have assumed Aussies to be backward, like they saw Crocodile Dundee or that episode of The Simpsons and accepted that as their blueprint for modern Australian life. I'm sure Oprah will show our country in its best light.Yes, just like every American is fat, obnoxious and acts like the "Sweet Sixteen" kids. Every country deals with foreigners holding stereotypes. I don't get why having a foreign entertainer visiting is a "dance, monkey, dance!" scenario (as another poster said). I mean, we have foreign entertainers visiting America all the time. Ya'll (the few Australians who have posted in this thread) seem a bit over-sensitive.
I absolutely agree with you about every country dealing with foreigners holding stereotyes. It's easy to get caught up in these, but the fact is that we all do it to every other country. One of my best friends is from the U.S. and the ridiculous comments she has to deal with blow my mind constantly.
The thing is, Oprah isn't a foreign entertainer visiting - Australia is large enough to have foreign entertainers visiting constantly, there's nothing special about that - but she is doing something quite different. She is doing a "C'mon everybody and see one of my Favourite Things, it's Australia, isn't it soooo cute? I Loooooooove it!! It's the home of kangaroos and koalas and Steve Irwin and good ole Aussie stuff... and see, I can even mimick their accent and talk like them! I'm going to tell you everything about Australia and then you'll all want to come down here and spend your money and help their economy, isn't that nice of me?" and y'know what? Most of that is actual summary of what she's actually said this week (including the looooooove australia part, lol). It's all about how different Australia is - they way people talk, the way they spend their time, etc. When in all honesty, there is very little difference between our countries. Sure, there's subtle differences in lifestyle, but for the most part all Western cultures are fairly similar. I think she means it in a good way, showing off the "uniqueness" but it comes across as simply highlighting stereotypes from 20 years ago.
For the record, I'm not Australian. But I am currently living in Sydney and see all the hype. I do think it's patronising, and it's accentuating stereotypes. Having said that, as I said previously I think she has good intetions and she's completely sincere in her viewpoints. And it's doing amazing things for tourism and the economy. So I think the problem is that there's a certain resentment that she's coming here and doing this, while at the same time people are really excited that she's coming here and doing this.... anyway, that's my perception. It's certainly beeen a MAJOR talking point the past few weeks. And front page news.