With staggering ignorance and insensitivity, Butler's character, prim and proper head librarian Frances O'Brien, has just offended the Lebanese community worker on her staff, made patronising remarks about smelly — that is, "ethnic" — food and almost let another staff member topple from a ladder after she is distracted by his shapely bum.
Frances' behaviour, adds Butler, can also be seen as a metaphor for the small-mindedness that exists in pockets of contemporary Australia. "Why are we so worried about petrol and whether Sudanese people should be let in?" she asks rhetorically. "I think what's upset those not wanting Sudanese people in (Australia) has a deeper feeling. I think for most people their unhappiness is generated by something that then causes them to attack, and that's basically what Frances does."
"Middleton is a play on middle Australia. We're fascinated in being told what the majority of Australians think, though you can never quantify anything as ludicrous as that. We like the idea that you can't contain it, and the thing about Frances is that she can't stand mess or complications, so if a situation has more than one result it causes her great anxiety.The producers of the show are working on another comedy idea, this time looking at the idea that small business is the nation's backbone.
Though, as The Librarians is on the ABC (which, under recent political changes, has to maintain strict political neutrality not only in news and current affairs but all content, including comedy), doesn't this mean that they'd have to devote an equal amount of time to something attacking inner-city latte-sipping/Green-voting/refugee-sheltering cultural elites?
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