[Warning: this article includes strong language that some readers may find offensive] The ABC has apologised to Australian Conservatives candidate Kevin Bailey after he was called a “cunt” during a comedy skit on Tonightly with Tom Ballard last weekend.
You can read B&T’s initial reporting of the story here.
According to reports on Fairfax Media, the ABC’s head of entertainment, David Anderson, phoned Bailey personally to apologise. However, the public broadcaster has said the skit itself did not breach any of the ABC’s guidelines.
Both the communications minister Mitch Fifield and Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi slammed the skit as insensitive and offensive.
Bernardi saying: “Mr Bailey is an upstanding member of society, a former SAS soldier, a diplomat, a successful businessman and a noted philanthropist. This attack goes far beyond satire, is completely unacceptable and warrants not only an apology from (comics) Mr Ballard and Mr Larsen but also from the ABC for allowing it to go to air.”
You can check out the skit for yourself below:
An ABC spokesperson has said the segment was internally reviewed and met due processes.
The spokesperson said in a statement: “The material was reviewed by the program teams prior to broadcast and posting, ensuring both complied with the ABC’s editorial standards on harm and offences and also the appropriate classification standards.
“In addition to these responses, director of entertainment, David Anderson, has contacted Mr Kevin Bailey, explained the context and apologised for any personal offence caused by the sketch. Any formal complaints about breaches of editorial policy or classification standards will be investigated through the normal processes.”