Infamous radio celebrity in hot water… again

16 09 2009


It seems that the Australian media couldn’t stop their consistent whining about Kyle Sandiland’s on-air comments and they’ve managed to dig up a story yet again.

Sandilands, with partner Jackie Henderson, host the Kyle and Jackie O show on 2Day FM. Since their inception on the radio, the pair have become shrouded in controversy over comments made on-air.

It was only in July that a reaction was sparked by a segment which involved Sandilands hooking a 14-year-old girl to a lie detector and asking her about her sexual experiences, with her mother present at the time. The girl admitted that she had been raped two years prior and Sandilands responded with “Right… is that the only experience you’ve had?”; this resulted in media outcry and revolt. The conclusion resulted in him being dropped as Australian Idol judge, while being allowed to return to the show.

Now, just weeks later, Sandilands’ comments have served him controversy. Australian comedian Magda Szubanski had been fighting a public weight loss battle, dropping 25 kilos with the Jenny Craig diet program. Last Wednesday, Sandilands said live on-air of Magda’s weight loss; “You put her in a concentration camp and you watch the weight fall off … like she could be skinny”.

Sandilands and co-host Henderson were discussing who would suit the role of ambassador for Jenny Craig. “Let’s face it, Magda could have another run at it couldn’t she, she could get another season out of them,” Sandilands said. “She’s not skinny.” When Henderson commented that Szubanksi had already lost a lot of weight and might not be able to lose anymore, Sandilands responded “That’s what all fat people say.

In a statement, Szubanski responded, “I couldn’t give two hoots about what Kyle says about me, but to trivialise what happened to people in concentration camps is abhorrent.” Szubanski later told Channel 10’s 7pm Project, “[Weight loss and concentration camps,] I wouldn’t think normally go together I have to say. It’s been a bit of a beat up and I kind of got dragged into something that is neither here nor there to me. I sort of had to say something because of the second part of that. I couldn’t care less about what Kyle says about me, it’s his opinion, he’s entitled to it, the second part about concentration camps was clearly in poor taste but, other than that, whatever.

Chief executive of the Jewish Board of Deputies, Vic Alhadeff, said the Jewish community would be outraged with Sandilands’s comments, “as there would be outrage amongst all people of good will. Millions of people have been killed in concentration camps in recent history, such as Cambodia and Bosnia – and the Holocaust – and there is no place to make light of an incident of such inhumanity and of such grotesque proportions.

On the night of the eighth, Sandilands released this statement: “It was not my intention to upset anyone and I sincerely apologise to anyone offended by my comments.”

2Day FM advertiser Optus has backed calls for Sandilands to be pulled off the air. “We support the swift action taken by Austereo,” a spokeswoman said. “We can confirm we have withdrawn all advertising on the Kyle and Jackie O breakfast show effective immediately.

The Austereo Radio Network has been contacted about letting Sandilands return on-air. In a report, News LTD stated that Sandilands would be suspended for ten days.

By Sinclair





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