Kyle Sandilands yesterday responded to the Australian Communications and Media Industry ruling that his comments on Paralympians were “offensive” and that he should go to “sensitivity training”.
Speaking on the KIIS 106.5 show he co-hosts with Jackie O, Sandilands said he was unaware of the ruling made by the ACMA until he read it in the newspapers yesterday morning.
During yesterday’s show, newsreader Brooklyn Ross alerted Sandilands to the story, saying “you’re in there”.
Sandilands’ responded to Ross by saying “Yeah, I’m in there. Some sort of bulls**t in there about something I didn’t even know about. Still don’t know about. One day I’ll find out,” he said.
He also indirectly responded to the ACMA’s suggestion that he should do “sensitivity training”.
Later in the show, he joked that his staff needed sensitivity training and made jokes about a new “sensitive era”.
On Tuesday the ACMA released a report stating that KIIS1065 twice breached the commercial radio code’s “decency provision” by airing the remarks made by Sandilands.
As reported by The Australian, the first breach occurred on September 1, 2021, when Sandilands said: “Have you been watching the Special Olympics? It’s horrific some of the things. Some poor bloke ran for the high jump and then veered right ‘cause he was blind and landed on his arse on the ground”.
“Then, when they were playing soccer, the blind people, I was, I was thinking are you joking, they’re throwing themselves on the ground like sausages to block the ball.”
“And I think good on you, I love the spirit of the contest … but I feel … Jesus Christ … that’s a big effort.”
In its report, ACMA said: “While Mr Sandilands and Ms Henderson expressed some admiration for the ‘spirit of the contest’, it would have been clear to the audience that the Paralympians in question were being mocked by Mr Sandilands, and that they were mocked for the techniques used to participate and compete in their particular sport.
“The ACMA considers a regular listener of the program, while tolerant of irreverent presentation styles, would still be able to identify what was generally ‘acceptable’ content, and who was likely considered a ‘fair target’ for humour or mocking in contemporary Australia.”
The report said that Sandilands’ comments were “insensitive and hurtful toward the athletes as well as being offensive to the average moderate person in the broader community, including the regular audience of the program, who would have been aware of the potential impact of these comments, not only on the Paralympians that were being described in this manner, but on the wider group of people in Australia with disabilities.”