Chris Lilley says he ignores social media amid ‘Lunatics’ backlash

"It's easy - you just don't look."

Chris Lilley has said that he ignores social media, amid mounting criticism of his latest mockumentary Lunatics.

The Australian character comedian returned last Friday with Lunatics, a Netflix show that follows the lives of outlandish characters who are bound together by their eccentric talents.

Among the raft of characters is Jana, a “lesbian pet psychic to the stars” and  Keith Dick, a fashion retailer with a ‘sexuality disorder’ which sees him struggling to deal with his desires towards a cash register in his shop.

While the show saw Lilley facing some of his harshest reviews from critics and social media users alike, the comedian says that he deliberately avoids online reactions.

“Reading all those opinions would affect me, and it would affect what I was trying to create next,” he told  The Weekend Australian on Saturday. “Earlier in my career I didn’t have to think about it (social media). Now I choose not to. It’s easy – you just don’t look.”

It comes after Lunatics was roundly slammed on social media.

“The reason we can be heroes and summer heights high were so good was because he was playing off real Aussie stereotypes. These characters are boring, unfunny and just cheap. I gave him another chance after angry boys but I’m done now,” wrote one user.

Another said: “I’ve just watched the first two eps of #Lunatics and am gutted. It’s terrible; I mean really terrible. I don’t want it to undermine the brilliant stuff Lilley has done in the past, but it kinda makes me question everything.”

The show previously faced backlash after users hit out at what they perceived to be blackface in the character of Jana – who appeared to sport afro hair.

But clarification eventually came from Lilley’s producer Laura Walters, who confirmed that the comedian isn’t portraying blackface after all.

“Correcting some confusion – in the new show Lunatics, Chris Lilley is not portraying a woman of colour,” wrote Waters. “When the series is released you will see that Jana is a white woman with huge 70s style curly hair.”

Lunatics is streaming on Netflix now.