Australia has been described as "comfortably racist" by a reporter from the popular American satirical current affairs program The Daily Show.
John Oliver, a long-serving presenter with the series, described the country as a "a coastal paradise surrounding a rocky hell" after filming here last week, reports Mumbrella website.
Daily Show presenter calls Australia racist
British comedian and temporary The Daily Show host, John Oliver, makes claims on his podcast that Australians are 'comfortably racist'.
In his Bugle podcast, he said: "Australia turns out to be a sensational place, albeit one of the most comfortably racist places I've ever been in. They've really settled into their intolerance like an old resentful slipper."
Oliver said he noticed that much vitriol was reserved for Australians of Lebanese origin.
"You can say what you like about Australian racism; it is undeniably specific," he said.
"I had a couple of Australians – more than one – complain to me about all the 'Lebos' in the country, referring apparently to the Lebanese. Who the f--- is annoyed by Lebanese people?
"In a way you have to admire the attention to detail. Not just all those Arabs, but the Lebanese. That's like saying 'You know who I can't stand? Sri Lankans. Malaysians not a problem. Bangladeshis, lovely people, but Sri Lankans – I've got no time for them, Jose.'
"How many Lebanese people can there actually be in Australia? There's only just over four million of these people in f---ing Lebanon.
"The one thing Australia cannot argue is: 'There's no room here in this country', because that land is f---ing gigantic. That aside: fantastic place, can't wait to go back."
Oliver also interviewed former prime minister John Howard, describing the encounter as "an experience he didn't seem to enjoy to his maximum capacity".
His comments sparked a flurry on social media.
"John Oliver nails it," one user tweeted.
They've really settled into their intolerance like an old resentful slipper.
"Oh he speaks such truth," wrote another.
But another said: "John Oliver visits western Sydney and meets racist people – shocking I know."
Other tweets included: "I'm pretty sure John Oliver could find just as many racist people anywhere he went in the world" and "Where did you go in Aus? On the Bugle it sounded like you only met bogans and John Howard. No wonder you think we're racists!"
In the United States, The Daily Show attracts mostly young and well-educated viewers. Some commentators believe it is a primary source of news for these audiences, who are less likely to watch traditional news bulletins.
In Australia, the program airs on Foxtel's Comedy Channel.