The ABC has deleted this week’s episode of Q&A from all of its platforms, after receiving audience complaints.
In a statement released on Thursday, ABC managing director David Anderson conceded the episode, which featured Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy, could have been deemed offensive by some.
“The ABC acknowledges that the program was provocative in regard to the language used and some of the views presented,” he said.
“Q&A has always sought to tackle difficult issues and present challenging and thought-provoking content. However, I can understand why some viewers found elements of this episode confronting or offensive.
“We have received audience complaints about the program, are assessing the concerns raised and will investigate whether the program met the ABC’s editorial standards.”
In particular, Eltahawy’s statememt: “how many rapists must we kill until men stop raping us?”, has attracted attention since the show aired on Monday.
"When I talk about imaginary violence against men, everyone’s like, 'Oh, my God! Mona wants us to kill men,' and I’m just asking you to imagine a scenario that is the daily reality for women everywhere."@monaeltahawy #QandA pic.twitter.com/T0JEjxegXn
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) November 6, 2019
Speaking with The Australian, ABC chair Ita Buttrose said the show would not be on screens again.
“I agree with David’s statement, which I’ve discussed with him,” she said.
“We can’t do much more than issue the statement that we have, and we won’t be repeating the program. The plan is to take it off.”
Communications Minister Paul Fletcher also backed the investigation.
At the time of publication, the episode was still available in full on Q&A’s official YouTube channel, although it had been removed from the iView catch-up service.